Penn State Basketball: La Salle Torches Nittany Lions in Second Half for 82-57 Victory
A return trip to Philadelphia for Pat Chambers and his Nittany Lions didn't go as planned, as Penn State fell, 82-57 Wednesday night to La Salle. However not all was lost, as Penn State put together a 34-point first half and saw several players such as Ross Travis and Jermaine Marshall play well, scoring 12 and 19 points, respectively.
Second Half Update
La Salle connected on 16 3-pointers Wednesday night. Penn State managed only three — none in the second half, and the absence of All-Big Ten guard Tim Frazier began to show on both ends of the floor. At one point, La Salle opened up a 20-5 scoring run over a seven-minute span.
The Nittany Lions were outscored, 44-23 in the second half after trailing by only four at halftime.
Penn State trailed, 50-43 with 11:49 to go thanks to productive spacing by La Salle that opened up two more opportunities from behind the arc. A long 3-pointer gave La Salle a 53-43 lead with just over 11 minutes to play.
The Explorers didn't let up, hitting two more from long range to extend the lead to 57-43 with 10 minutes to go.
Back-to-back three-point plays by La Salle extended the lead even further to a 62-46 margin with only 8:05 to go. Quick passing and hot shooting from well beyond the arc took advantage of a Nittany Lion defense that struggled to fill the floor.
First Half Update: La Salle 38, Penn State 34
An energized crowd of Penn State and La Salle fans roared as each of their respective teams traded baskets inside of the historic Palestra gym. For a team that has struggled to produce consistent offense, the Nittany Lions' 13-point outburst over the opening 6 minutes of play was unexpected. 75 percent shooting over that span helped Penn State keep pace with a La Salle squad that hit four three-pointers in the opening stanza.
With 14 minutes to go the Explorers held on a to a 14-13 lead, but the high paced scoring didn't stop there.
Ross Travis, who worked on retooling his jumper in the offseason scored 10 first half points, and by the 10-minute mark the Nittany Lions were tied with the Explorers at 23 points. Both teams still shooting around 60 percent from the floor. Tyreek Duren lead La Salle early with 13 points on 3-of-4 from behind the arc.
La Salle slowly pulled away from the Nittany Lions with just over seven minutes to play in the half. The Explorers extended their lead behind three-point shooting and saw the lead grow to 10 at 36-26 with 5 minutes to play. La Salle hit 8 from behind the arc in the first half.
The Nittany Lions clawed away at the lead and were able to get with 6 at the 1:50 mark down 36-30.
Jermaine Marshall lead Penn State with 13 first half points and Ross Travis chipped in 10. Philly native DJ Newbill was held scoreless in the first half but had four assists.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Pat Chambers was making his first trip to Philadelphia as coach of Penn State. He coached the Nittany Lions on Nov. 26, 2011 at Saint Joseph's.