The Nittany Lions Star Battle Gets Keblered in Spartans 65-54 Win Here at Penn State

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Bryce Jordan Center

University Park. PA

 

Junior walk on Mike Kebler was a star for the Spartans today here at PSU.  Photo courtesy of Kevin Krzeminski.

Junior walk on Mike Kebler was a star for the Spartans today here at PSU. Photo courtesy of Kevin Krzeminski.

With Korie Lucious back in East Lansing needing to take care of some academic issues, the Spartans faced a formidable foe in the Nittany Lions and once again they were under manned. Not 100%, Kalin Lucas found himself probably rushed back into starting action, but with a three game losing streak in hand the Spartans had no room for errors.

 

The moral of this story today was that good guys can finish first. Mike Kebler the junior walk on from Okemos came into the game when PSU was up 46-44 in the second half and Talor Battle was destroying them. His coach, Tom Izzo asked if he could check Battle to which he replied, “I check Kalin Lucas every day in practice.” Kebler shut down the high-octane future NBA star and made him look silly. When Kebler came in the game with 12:24 left in the half PSU went two for seven and the game was over.

 

Kebler’s stellar defense and Kalin Lucas’s 24 points, two rebounds, six assists along with 14 from Chris Allen led the Spartans. Lucas played like a warrior still recovering from a badly sprained ankle, but Kebler was the story. Coach Tom Izzo praised his young player by saying, “Mike is pretty strong and pretty athletic. Draymond was willing the guy to play harder and harder. Kebler was awfully good. He can play a role and right now I can use some guys who can play a role.”

 

Kebler stepped up, but the Spartan Nation has to still remain concerned with players who disappear for long stretches. This team has the talent to be great so the stretches of mediocrity are amazing.

 

The Spartans play next on Tuesday at Indiana and I will tell you this right now: PSU is the only team in the conference that they can play like this against and beat on the road. A fact Draymond Green agreed with me on. Especially on the road. Raymar Morgan was two for eight, Durrell Summers was three for nine and Draymond Green was zero for seven.

 

One nice stat was seeing the Spartans get back into the positive side of the rebounding stats. They whipped the Lions on the boards 38 to 24.

 

With today’s win the Spartans remained tied for the Big Ten lead and accounted for their 20th win of the season.

 

The Spartans aren’t back yet. I know, I am stating the obvious. They are back in the wins column and that helps with morale. They have a ways to go to get back to where they were. I said this team had peaked after a second win against Northwestern and my inbox reflected that many of you disagreed with me. 

 

I was right. Let’s hope they peak again. How about in Bloomington on Tuesday?