Lions drop heartbreaker to Iowa; Chambers pledge nets $14,200 for THON

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- In a game that came down to the final seconds, Penn State (8-16, 0-12 Big Ten) missed on two late opportunities to tie or take the lead and suffered a 74-72 setback to Iowa (16-9, 5-7 Big Ten) Thursday (Feb. 14) night before a raucous student crowd of 1,420 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State coach Patrick Chambers will donate $14,200 to Penn State Dance Marathon 2013, fulfilling his pledge to donate $10 for every Penn State student who attended the contest on the eve of the 46-hour THON event, which kicks off Friday.

"The students were great and the rest of the fans were great," Chambers said. "That was the loudest I've ever heard that place. We can have a home-court advantage. It can be done. It's unfortunate that we didn't come out with a win, but the atmosphere was definitely amazing. It was really special to see."

Three Nittany Lions posted double-digit points for the first time in Big Ten play led by an outstanding 26-point effort from sophomore guard D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.). The Penn State coaching staff sported pink ties, while the Nittany Lions had pink shoelaces in support of the 7th Annual Pink Zone at Penn State Lady Lion game on Feb. 24. In addition, head coach Patrick Chambers, as well as several players, shaved their heads as part of the No Hair, Don't Care Campaign to raise money for THON.

Newbill was sensational hitting 11-of-20 from the floor and a career high three treys (3-5) to go with a team-high eight rebounds and two steals. Senior Sasa Borovnjak (Belgrade, Serbia) posted his best ever Big Ten game logging 14 points and junior Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) posted 14 points and a career-high 10 assists.

"I was proud of the guys to get themselves in the position to make shots and make plays," Chambers said. "We need to make some stops and free throws when it counts, but I was proud of the way the kids competed."

Penn State shot 44 percent (27-of-61) from the field and season-best 47 percent (8-of-17) from beyond the arc. The Nittany Lions outscored the Hawkeyes in the paint 30-24 and off turnovers 18-6, while committing just six turnovers on the night.

The Hawkeyes got 22 points from Roy Devyn Marble and 13 from freshman guard Mike Gesell. Iowa also shot 44 percent (24-of-54) for the game, but outscored the Lions 20-10 at the free throw line while hitting 20-of-26 at the charity stripe. Iowa also led the rebounding 40-29.

After falling behind by 12 points midway through the second half, the Nittany Lions used a 10-1 run to narrow the gap to three, 62-59, with 6:29 to play. Two Hawkeye free throws and a basket from Marble increased Iowa's advantage to seven, but a layup from Borovnjak and a trey from freshman Brandon Taylor (Tabernacle, N.J.) pulled Penn State within two, 66-64, with 4:08 remaining in the game.

Four more points from Iowa gave the Hawkeyes a six-point lead, 70-64, but Penn State kept pushing. A three-point play from Borovnjak off a nice Marshall feed and a foul shot from Marshall again moved the Lions within two, 70-68, with 1:13 on the clock. Ross Travis stole the ball from Marble and fed ahead to Newbill whose three rimmed in and out. The Lions fouled and sent Aaron White to the line where he missed. Marshall drove the lane on Penn State's next possession looking to tie but was met by a swarm of Hawkeyes and his offering went wide.

A foul by senior Nick Colella (New Castle, Pa.) sent Marble to the foul line where he went 2-for-2 for a 72-68 Hawkeye edge. With 20 seconds remaining, Newbill scored a layup to bring the Lions within one possession, 72-70, with five seconds to play.

Another Penn State foul sent the Hawkeyes back to the foul line where Melsahn Basabe went 1-for-2 to keep the game alive in the eyes of the Nittany Lions. Marshall headed down the floor after Basabe's miss on the second free throw, but was smartly fouled by Marble before he could attempt a tying three with one second remaining. He made the first free throw and tried to miss the second, but his line drive went in.

The Lions fouled on the Hawkeye inbound and Marble iced the game making 1-of-2 at the line before Taylor rebounded the miss on the second and his final 90-foot heave went wide.

After an Iowa trey to open the game, Marshall fed Newbill for an alley-oop dunk to get the crowd roaring. However, Iowa fired back and was up by seven, 12-5, after five minutes. Despite a Newbill jumper, another Hawkeye three- pointer followed by a layup that had the Lions trailing by 10, 17-7, with 13 minutes on the clock.

Less than 30 seconds later a Newbill trifecta sparked a 16-0 run to give Penn State a 23-17 advantage. Newbill and Borovnjak each had five points in the run, while Marshall put up six. Iowa didn't trail for long as the Hawkeyes embarked on an 11-point run of their own to retake the lead, 28-23, with 6:17 remaining in the half.

A bucket and free throw from Newbill pulled the Lions within two, 28-26, before another Hawkeye basket increased Iowa's lead to four, 30-26. On Iowa's next possession, Marshall had a huge block, but the Hawkeyes rebounded and missed a second chance opportunity. Marshall stole the ball and threw down a dunk to pull Penn State within two, 30-28, once again.

Following another Iowa basket, a 6-0 Nittany Lion run ignited the crowd as the Lions regained the lead, 34-32, with 1:01 left in the first half. Iowa closed out the half with six straight points for a 38-34 lead.

Borovnjak opened the second half with a basket before Newbill hit a three to give the Lions a slim 39-38 lead less than a minute into the second half. After a trip to the foul line where the Hawkeyes hit 2-of-2 to regain the lead, 40-39, Marshall was fouled and also hit 2-of-2 to give the Lions their final lead of the game, 41-40, with 18:40 to play.

The Hawkeyes took off on an 8-1 run for a 48-43 lead, but baskets from sophomore Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) and Newbill brought Penn State within one, 50-49, by the 14-minute mark. Iowa's Anthony Clemmons sank a three to start an 11-0 run for a 12-point Hawkeye lead by the midpoint mark of the half before a Newbill three sparked the Lions late charge.

Penn State is back in action on Sunday, Feb. 17. The Nittany Lions visit No. 4 Michigan for a noon game on the Big Ten Network .

For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist (@PSUSTRETCH) and the official Penn State men's basketball handle (@PennStateMBB) on Twitter and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball. 

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Last Updated June 20, 2014