STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Rasir Bolton scored a career-high 27 points and Penn State beat Colgate 76-65 on Saturday.
Bolton started hot from 3-point range and didn’t cool off. He sank 7 of 9 shots from beyond the arc and notched 17 first-half points.
Mike Watkins added 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and Lamar Stevens picked up 12 points for the Nittany Lions (5-4) who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Will Rayman scored 15 points, Rapolas Ivanauskas added 14 and Tucker Richardson chipped in 13 for the Raiders (7-4).
The Nittany Lions who led 41-30 at halftime, maintained a double-digit lead until Rayman hit a 3-pointer with 13:14 left to make it 53-44 Colgate used an 11-5 run over the next 5:38 capped by a layup from Jordan Burns that made it a three-point game with 7:36 to play.
The Raiders were within three with 2:44 to go, but wouldn’t get any closer as Penn State closed with an 11-3 run that included a pair of free throws each from Watkins and Bolton and a 3-pointer from Josh Reaves.
Penn State took a quick lead for the second-straight game, going up 7-0 before Colgate scored its first basket just under four minutes in.
Bolton notched 15 of Penn State’s first 32 points, all on 3-pointers, and John Harrar gave the Nittany Lions their biggest lead of the half 32-13 with 7:15 to play before Colgate cut into that lead.
Colgate: The Raiders will finally get a break from the road when they return home in a week. They’ve played their last six away from Cotterell Court and earned a split to keep pace among the top teams in the Patriot League.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions had lost three of their last four and shot poorly over that span making just 37 percent of their field goals. Bolton’s precision from 3-point range helps, but Penn State coach Pat Chambers believes his team is capable of shooting better than the 42 percent it did against the Raiders.
Colgate hosts Marist on Saturday.
Penn State faces North Carolina State in Atlantic City, New Jersey as part of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Boardwalk Classic on Saturday.
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