Penn State Defeats Marshall 73-69, Improves To 8-1 On The Season
Despite yet another slow start, the Penn State men’s basketball team defeated Marshall on the road 73-69 and improved to 8-1 on the season.
Brandon Taylor and and John Johnson led the Nittany Lions in scoring with 17 apiece, followed by 15 points by D.J. Newbill. Ross Travis dominated the glass for the Lions, posting nine rebounds, while also chipping in three points.
The game started off on the wrong foot for Penn State, as a pair of early three pointers by Austin Loop and Justin Edmonds put the Thundering Herd up 6-2 early on. Misses all across the board hurt Penn State early on, allowing Marshall to control the flow of the game.
A big three by John Johnson gave Penn State its first lead of the game at around the 13-minute mark, but Marshall’s Jay Johnson regained the lead with a three ball on the other end.
Redshirt freshman Payton Banks posted his first points as a Nittany Lion, burying a three to capture the lead yet again for Penn State, and putting the team ahead 19-17.
Brandon Taylor caught fire towards the end of the first half, drilling back-to-back threes, and giving Penn State its largest lead of the night. Marshall was unable to respond, losing any sort of momentum gained in the beginning stages of the game. The Nittany Lions went into halftime leading 31-24.
After a two minute scoring stalemate, Taylor was able to extend Penn State’s lead to nine points with a smooth jumper. The two teams traded points and boards as the second half progressed, and was highlighted by a beautiful pass to a cutting Geno Thorpe, whose layup put the Nittany Lions up 39-27.
John Johnson was a scoring machine in the second half, capitalizing on free throws and putting back a big miss at around the 13-minute mark. Marshall’s foul woes came back to haunt them, as the Thundering Herd put Penn State into the bonus with under 13-minutes to play.
Penn State’s sizeable lead would not last long, however, as Marshall got into a comfortable groove down the stretch, cutting the deficit to five with under seven-minutes to play.
Tamron Manning’s three pointer at the 2:23 mark made it a 64-59 ballgame, forcing Pat Chambers to call a timeout and regroup. Brandon Taylor missed his jump shot, and the Thundering Herd cut the lead to three with a dunk on the other end.
The teams traded free throws, but a foul by Taylor with 1:12 remaining allowed Jay Johnson to bring Marshall to within one.
Four points by Donovon Jack extended the Penn State lead to five with 38 seconds to play, but two huge Jay Johnson free throws coupled with an Aleksa Nikolic layup with just seconds remaining brought Marshall to within two.
Newbill was sent to the line after the timeout, and in typical fashion, nailed both to send the Nittany Lions back home with a win, 73-69.
An 8-1 start inspires hope for a young team with a brutal conference schedule ahead. As long as Newbill continues to produce at a high level, there is no reason to count Penn State out just yet.
The Nittany Lions take on Duquesne at home on Wednesday night.