Sloppy play and poor bench play plagued Penn State (3-3) Wednesday night, as they fell to Boston College (3-4) 73-61.
It wasn’t pretty — for 35 of the 40 minutes, Penn State played their worst basketball of the season — but a late effort by Penn State’s Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill made it a game, bringing a 20 point deficit to within 3 with 3:08 remaining. Ultimately, it wouldn’t be enough, as Boston College capitalized on free throws in the final minutes to put the game away.
The first half saw Penn State shoot 39% from the floor, with D.J. Newbill scoring half of Penn State’s 24 points. Newbill would go on to score 22 points with 5 rebounds, hitting 2 of 3 from behind the arc.
Indeed, aside from Newbill, Marshall was the only positive performance of the night for Penn State. The junior picked up 25 points, shooting 8-13 from the floor, and was part of the late Penn State comeback with Newbill.
Aside from Newbill and Marshall, Penn State shot 6-27 (22.2%) from the floor. That lack of depth has haunted Penn State all season, and with the injury of Tim Frazier and the announcement of Pat Ackerman’s suspension before the game, an already thin Penn State team got thinner.
“That last 5 minutes showed me something – that they have heart and have pride in wearing that jersey,” said Coach Patrick Chambers after the game. “I have to do a better job, my staff has to do a better job.”
After coming off a big win against Bucknell, Penn State should have beat an uncharacteristically poor Boston College team that has already lost to Dayton, The College of Charleston, and Bryant University this season. It will be an ugly season if the Nittany Lions can’t get production out of anyone but Marshall and Newbill, and experienced players like Jon Graham, Sasa Borovnjak, and Ross Travis — who shot a combined 4-19 — will need to at least be serviceable if Penn State expects to make any waves in the Big Ten this season.
Penn State will have a great chance to pick up a win at their next game this Saturday against Penn (2-5) at 2 p.m.