No. 18 Michigan State vs. Penn State final score: Spartans pick up 81-72 road win

USA TODAY Sports

Penn State held tough in the first half, but the Spartans were able to pull away down the stretch as they improved to 4-1 in Big Ten play.

The Michigan St. Spartans picked up a conference road win on Wednesday night, knocking off Penn State by a score of 81-72 at the Bryce Jordan Center.

No. 18 Michigan State led most of the way, although the Nittany Lions made things interesting in the closing minutes. The Spartans moved out to a double-digit lead early in the second half, but a comeback attempt led by Jermaine Marshall and his 29 points pulled PSU within two possessions with two minutes left.

MSU hit their free throws down the stretch, which ended any chance Penn State had at pulling the upset. It was a gut-check victory for coach Tom Izzo's squad.

Junior big man Adreian Payne led the Spartans with 20 points and six rebounds off the bench. Five players reached double-digits in scoring for MSU, including Keith Appling, who had 12 points despite a poor shooting night.

D.J. Newbill had 27 points for Penn State. Other than Newbill and Marshall, no other PSU player had more than six points. As a team, the Nittany Lions hit 48 percent of their shots, but went 5-for-16 from behind the three-point arc.

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