BOSTON (AP) Shep Garner nailed an off-balance 3-pointer for his fifth of the game from beyond the arc, stepping back a bit and falling to his left directly in front of Boston College's bench in the opening half.
From that moment on, the 6-foot-1 Nittany Lion sophomore guard knew he was having a great night.
Garner hit 8-of-12 3-point shots and finished with a career-high 30 points, carrying Penn State to 67-58 victory over Boston College Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
''Yeah, that was,'' he said, a smile breaking onto his face. ''That was a little like `heat check.' That was the one that told me I was going to have a good night.''
Garner fell one 3-point basket away from the school record, set by Pete Lisicky in 1996. He hit five of his 3s in the opening half and nailed three in a quick burst early in the second.
''It's funny. He's been a little hesitant since the first couple of games, a little gun shy,'' Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. ''We've had some team meetings and he told the team he's got to shoot the basketball.''
Jordan Dickerson, Payton Banks and Donovan Jack each scored nine points for the Nittany Lions (4-2).
The rest of Penn State's players were just 2-for-10 on 3-point attempts.
Dennis Clifford led the Eagles (3-4) with 17 points. A.J. Turner scored 15. BC now has lost four straight.
''There's some things the team needs to fix,'' BC coach Jim Christian said. ''This in an individual lesson that you have to learn from this game, that you can't let that happen again.''
The Nittany Lions trailed 38-31 before Garner hit three straight from beyond the arc in a 64-second span during a 15-2 run that pushed Penn State ahead by six.
The Eagles closed it to 48-47 on Jerome Robinson's driving basket, but Penn State took charge by scoring the next seven points.
BC never sliced its deficit below six points in the final 4 minutes.
The teams met twice previously in the Challenge, splitting the two games.
BC led 30-29 at halftime.
Penn State: Garner hit his first five shots of the game from behind the 3-point line before missing his next four.
Boston College: Eli Carter was better in the first half than his last two home games, but it didn't take much. He was 2-for-3 Wednesday after going 0-for-13 from the field in his previous two.
IF ONLY HE KNEW
Garner said he was unaware of the school record and said he may have taken another 3 if he knew.
''Probably, probably,'' he said, smiling. ''If it was there.''
Seven-footer Clifford is looking healthy again.
He missed all but two games in the 2013-14 season and played 31 of 32 last season.
''I spent a lot of time this offseason working on my lower body,'' he said. ''Last year it was mainly trying to stay healthy and I think I accomplished that.''
The teams played in a partially-lighted arena.
There was a technical difficulty getting the lights aligned and working before the game, causing the arena to only have lights shining directly onto the court - with one bank completely out behind the Penn State bench.
The upper stands and sidelines were much darker than usual.
A BC employee said that both teams and the officials were told of the problem, but they agreed to play the game with the lighting conditions.
Penn State hosts Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Boston College hosts UMass-Lowell on Sunday.