Men's basketball downs Nebraska, 58-54, for first Big Ten victory

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Led by D.J. Newbill's (Philadelphia, Pa.) 16 points, four Penn State players posted double-figure scoring efforts as the men’s basketball team snapped a six-game losing streak with a 58-54 win over Nebraska at the Bryce Jordan Center. The victory marks the Nittany Lions’ first Big Ten win of the 2013-14 campaign.

Newbill led all scorers with 16 points and also added four rebounds and two steals. John Johnson (Philadelphia, Pa.) tallied 13 points, while Brandon Taylor (Tabernacle, N.J.) and Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) netted 11 points apiece. Frazier flirted with a double-double as he also pulled down nine boards and tacked on six assists without a turnover and two steals.

The Huskers (9-9, 1-5 Big Ten) led for much of the contest until just over a minute remaining when Frazier converted a steal into an assist on a game-changing dunk by Newbill at 1:18. Fouled on the play, Newbill hit the free throw for the three-point play and the Lions' (10-10, 1-6 Big Ten) first lead, 52-51, since the score was 8-6. A 3-pointer from Johnson and two clutch free throws by Frazier with :01 on the clock sealed the deal on Penn State's narrowest margin of victory on the season.

The Nittany Lions shot 35.1 percent (20-of-57) from the floor, 23.8 percent (5-of-21) from three-point range and 76.5 percent (13-of-17) from the free throw line. PSU forced 14 Husker turnovers, converting the Nebraska miscues into 22 points, while the Blue and White committed just five turnovers, resulting in one point.

Terran Petteway set the pace for the Huskers, recording 15 points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Ray Gallegos was Nebraska’s only other player to reach double figures in scoring, tallying 10 points while Shavon Shields pulled down a game-high 10 boards.

Nebraska opened the scoring with a 3-pointer by Gallegos less than a minute into the game. Penn State responded with back-to-back treys from Frazier and Taylorto pull ahead 6-3 before the Huskers added another three to knot the game up at 6-6.

The teams went back and forth over the next several minutes until a 10-2 run put Nebraska on top 26-17 with just over four minutes remaining in the half. Johnson closed the gap to 26-22 with a three-pointer and a jumper but it was stretched to seven once again as Walter Pitchford closed out the half with another trey.

Penn State cut the deficit to one early in the second half after completing a 9-3 scoring streak. Newbill opened and closed the run with a pair of layups and added a free throw in between, Frazier knocked down a two shots from the charity stripe and Taylor drained a jumper in the paint to put the score at 32-31.

Nebraska regained control on the next possession as Shields drilled a trey, Deverell Biggs went one-of-two from the free throw line and Leslee Smith laid one in to lengthen the Huskers’ lead to 38-31.

The Nittany Lions took their first lead of the half with just over four minutes remaining after turning in an 8-0 run. Taylor kicked off the run with a 1-of-2 effort at the free throw line, Jack added three points on a layup and a free throw, Taylor notched a put-back layup and Newbill posted a layup on a fastbreak to put PSU up 47-45 at the 4:19 mark.

The Huskers did not give in just yet though, taking back the lead on another 3-pointer from Shields. A Petteway free throw and a layup from Biggs pushed Nebraka’s lead to four again but it would not hold for long.

Another put-back layup from Jack and a Newbill dunk off of a Frazier steal gave the Lions momentum and put them up one with 1:05 remaining. Newbill drained a free throw to extend the lead to two points and Johnson knocked down a three to put the count at 56-51 with 18 second on the clock.

Petteway responded with another three to make it a one-possession game but his efforts would fall just short as Frazier tacked on his two free throws in the closing second of the contest, bringing the final score to 58-54.

Penn State returns to action next Wednesday, traveling to Columbus, Ohio, to face the Ohio State Buckeyes. Tip is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at Value City Arena. The Lions return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday, Feb. 2 for an 11:30 a.m. match-up vs. Purdue.


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Last Updated January 23, 2014