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Penn State Basketball: Nittany Lions Beat Drexel 73-68

by on December 20, 2014 5:20 PM

Penn State basketball improved to 11-1 on the year with a 73-68 win over Drexel on Saturday. The Nittany Lions were led by DJ Newbill's 20 points and a double-double effort by Brandon Taylor. Penn State will play the final non conference game of the year on Monday against Dartmouth.

How It Happened:

Penn State got out to an early lead and never looked back as Drexel struggled to find the basket and a confident Brandon Taylor broke into double figures in the opening 20 minutes of play. The Nittany Lions 36-28 halftime lead the result of forced turnovers, solid shooting and strong defense on the road.

Drexel didn't let up though and despite trailing by as many as 20 with 7:23 to play Penn State would give up a 15-0 run to make it a 5 point game with 4:13 to play. From there it was all hands on deck as free throws, timely rebounds and two big baskets by Donovon Jack helped seal the deal instead of give up a heartbreaking loss after dominating play nearly all game long.

It Was Over When:

Penn State made 7 free throws in the final 50 seconds of play to keep Drexel just out of reach and the lead safe despite a charge late in the game that turned a 20 point lead into a 5 point game with 3:55 to go in regulation. It got a little dicey for the Nittany Lions yet again, but free throws and timely rebounds kept an easy win from turning into a heartbreaking loss.

Stats Of The Game:

With Ross Travis in early foul trouble, Brandon Taylor stepped up his effort on the glass with 7 rebounds in the opening 20 minutes and 11 on the game. Taylor's 14 points would give him his first double-double of his career and the first by a Nittany Lion this year.

DJ Newbill added 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 9-of-12 from the line.

Penn State shot 7-of-17 from behind the arc with four different players making a long range shot. 

Jordan Dickerson had another solid game around the rim with 3 blocks, 4 points and 6 rebounds.

Penn State got 22 points off the bench thanks to a strong performance by Payton Banks' 7 points and perhaps his most confident looking game of his young collegiate career.

Player Of The Game:

Brandon Taylor's strong first half gave Penn State life and a 36-28 halftime lead on the road. DJ Newbill's 20 points on effective shooting was a nice addition as well but Taylor's timely rebounding in the first half with Ross Travis in foul trouble was a much needed positive for Penn State.

What's Up Next:

Penn State finishes off the the non conference schedule with Dartmouth  at 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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