Playing in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament last night, Penn State Men’s Basketball fell to No. 6 North Carolina State 72-55. Penn State senior and captain Tim Frazier put up 23 points on 6-20 shooting — surpassing the 1,000 career point mark in the process — but the Nittany Lions were outgunned and outmatched against the Wolfpack, the tournament favorite and the highest-ranked team in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Penn State trailed by just nine points at halftime despite shooting 9-27 from the floor and committing nine turnovers. The Nittany Lions’ shooting woes carried over into the final twenty minutes. Shortly after closing NC State’s lead to 37-30, the Wolfpack went on a 10-0 run and ultimately outpaced the Nittany Lions for the victory.
This outcome was not entirely unexpected. NC State returned four starters with double digit scoring averages from its Sweet Sixteen squad last season, including pre-season ACC Player of the Year C.J. Leslie. Leslie scored 14, and a pair of NC State freshmen, T.J. Warren and Rodney Purvis, added 22 and 12 respectively.
Three Nittany Lions ended in the double digits — Frazier with 23, Newbill with 13, and Marshall with 11. Forward Jon Graham posted six offensive boards but only four points.. Ultimately, the Lions were unable to overcome their poor shooting and ball movement, with just a 31.7% field goal percentage and only four assists.
This loss drops Penn State to 1-1. The Nittany Lions will face Providence tonight at 7:30. The game can be viewed on ESPN3.