For the early part of the season, Penn State had terrible shooting woes. In their previous eight games, the Nittany Lions had only broken the 40% barrier once (in the 82-57 loss at La Salle). This afternoon was different as Penn State shot 51% from the field and 37% beyond the arc in a 78-70 victory over Army (4-4). Penn State now moves to 5-4 on the season with the win.
D.J. Newbill was the leading scorer for Penn State with 19 on 7-15 shooting. Ross Travis had a double-double, contributing 14 points and 10 rebounds. Both Jermaine Marshall and freshman Brandon Taylor also had stellar games, scoring 16 and 14, respectively.
Three minutes into the game, Penn State had a 7-2 lead thanks to 5 quick points from Ross Travis. They built on the lead for the remainder of the half and went to the locker room ahead 40-28.
The second half was a different story, however, as Army’s full court press and the contributions of Ella Ellis (23 points) narrowed Penn State’s lead down to 2 with 12 minutes left. After a Penn State timeout, however, Nick Colella hit a big three which gave Penn State enough momentum to keep the lead for the rest of the game. Colella also hit two more threes for a total of 9 points.
“We just took a big punch. Now we got to get off the floor and punch back,” said head coach Pat Chambers after Penn State’s lead dwindled to two. “And we [had]to continue to fight. We just had to keep grinding and get a stop. And that’s what we did. Nick hit a three and it was a big shot. And that just goes back to attitude.”
Also of note was that Sasa Borovnjak got the start this afternoon. Borovnjak is averaging just 2.5 points per game and 3.1 rebounds per game this year, but his teammates have been supportive of him despite his recent slump.
“We’ve got faith in him,” commented Travis after Borovnjak scored 4 points this afternoon and grabbed 3 rebounds.
Penn State has a week off before they play Delaware State (5-5) at home.