Bryn Forbes Shines In Spartans 92-65 Rout Of Penn State

It sure is nice having the best all-around player in the country back.

That had to have been the feeling of the No. 5 ranked Michigan State men’s basketball team as they beat Penn State in Happy Valley 92-65. Senior guard Denzel Valentine was back from his knee injury that sidelined him for nearly three weeks. As great as this was, rust was to be expected as Valentine had not played in any game action, nor had much contact since the injury.

While Valentine tried to get his groove back, senior guard Bryn Forbes stepped up again by having a tremendous 20 points in the first half, along with six three-pointers. The jump shots were coming easy for him once again as it seemed like he was able to get open anytime he wanted to.

Another great performance in the first half for the Spartans came from junior Gavin Schilling who had 11 points and seven rebounds. The 11 he had bested his season high of eight points that he had  in the last game against Illinois. Schilling and senior Matt Costello, who also had seven rebounds, helped MSU win the rebounding battle against the Nittany Lions 23-17.

Though MSU started out slow in the game, which included a two-and-a-half minute scoring drought, the Spartans eventually found their rhythm led by sophomore guard Tum Tum Nairn. Nairn pushed the tempo off every outlet rebound, which allowed Forbes to spot-up in transition. This opened up the court and spaced the Penn State Defense.

Penn State did not show much out on the court in the first half. The one bright spot was sophomore guard Shep Garner who has started to get some attention throughout college basketball. Garner had six points, but the score at halftime was 40-27.

The second half was more continued success for MSU as they kept pushing the ball against the Nittany Lion defense, who  could not handle the Spartans in transition. MSU did much of the same work on both ends, and pushed the lead to over 20 three minutes into the half.

Picking up in the second half was Valentine who hit a three to get onto the board, and ultimately ended up with 10 for the game. His stamina was an obvious problem, which was expected coming into today. However, his overall affect on the game never left him as he finished with four assists, four rebounds, and two steals.

Continuing his success in this game was redshirt junior Eron Harris, who finished with 13 points. Coming into this game he had been averaging 17 points per game in Valentine’s absence, and seemed to have found his shot as he was shooting 50 percent from the field.  

The 92-65 win pushes MSU’s record to 16-1 and 3-1 in conference play. They should also move up in the national rankings as No. 4 ranked Virginia lost yesterday. Their next game is a rematch against Iowa on Thursday at Breslin at 7 PM.