From an overall program perspective, it is never a good thing when a Big Ten team nearly blows a 19-point lead to a Patriot League opponent. But for Penn State’s Mike Watkins Saturday, that scenario gave him the opportunity to prove that he is well on his way to returning to 100 percent.
Freshman guard Rasir Bolton led the Nittany Lions with 27 points in a 76-65 victory at the Jordan Center that allowed PSU to break a two-game losing streak and improve to 5-4 on the season. But Watkins — who missed the first five games of the season while dealing with mental health and legal issues — played some of the most dominating ball of his career when it mattered most.
Watkins started for the first time in 2018-19, and came through with 18 points and 16 rebounds in just 23 minutes. In 13 second-half minutes, he had 12 points and eight rebounds, allowing the Lions to turn back the Raiders after they had cut the PSU lead to 65-62 with 2:44 left in the game.
Colgate slipped to 7-4 on the season. The Lions are now off for a week to take finals.
Here is what stood out to us.