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Penn State Basketball: Nittany Lions Complete Comeback, Upend Indiana 66-65

by on February 13, 2014 8:55 AM

Tim Frazier hasn't forgotten.

It has been 60 days since he was facing an overtime layup to tie the game against Princeton and missed it. A 20-point lead in front of a packed Rec Hall crowd turning into perhaps the most painful loss of the season.

So with just over 10 seconds to play, Frazier drove through the lane and scooped in a layup that would complete an 11-point comeback in the final two-minutes of play to give the Nittany Lions a one-point victory over Indiana. The 66-65 win in Bloomington was the Nittany Lions' fourth win in six games.

Penn State opened the game well, trading baskets with the Hoosiers, never falling behind by more than five points in the opening 19 minutes of play. Indiana jumped out to an eight point lead but Donovon Jack would toss in a layup in the final second of the first half to bring the Nittany Lions to within six as Indiana led 36-30 at the break. It wasn't a pretty half of basketball for either team, but the Nittany Lions rebounded well and shot 44-percent from three to stay with an Indiana team shooting 59-percent from the floor.

In the second half, Penn State would open slow as the Hoosiers looked to pull away like they have so many times in front of the Indiana faithful. Indiana would sprint out to a 11-point lead in the opening three minutes of the second half -- seemingly only a few baskets away from a routine victory. Penn State would keep the Hoosiers within reach though, but each Nittany Lion score would be matched by an Indiana basket.

With 2:53 left to play, DJ Newbill would hit a deep three to bring Penn State within 10 points. Still, the game looked like it was out of reach with only a few possessions remaining. Indiana's Evan Gordon would hit one of two free throws only a few moments later giving the Hoosiers a 65-56 lead. That would mark the final point scored by the Hoosiers.

Penn State would go on to score the game's next 10 points as the Hoosiers turned the ball over four times in the final 2:06.

Up by only a basket, Indiana would turn the ball over with 33 seconds to play. Penn State guard John Johnson would drive to the basket with 16 seconds in regulation and be called for charging. That call appeared to put the game out of reach for the Nittany Lions.

But Penn State has seen calls go against them before and has learned how to cope. Head coach Pat Chambers exploded following the controversial call but guard DJ Newbill pulled him back into the huddle for instructions. Down by two and with 16 seconds to play the game was far from over.

Frazier would steal the ensuing inbounds pass by Indiana and pass it off to Ross Travis who was fouled in the act of shooting. Travis would make one of two attempts from the line, keeping the Hoosiers ahead by a single point with 14 seconds to play.

But the game was still not over.

Newbill would steal a high lob pass only seconds later to give the Nittany Lions the ball and a chance to win the game after being down by 11 points only minutes earlier. The amazing comeback was partly Indiana's failure and partly due to the effort an attitude of Penn State's approach to the final minutes of play. If there is time on the clock there is still time to win.

The rest was history. Frazier would not be denied and his basket with just over six-seconds to play gave Penn State its first lead of the entire game. A last gasp shot would miss by Indiana's Yogi Ferrell and the victory was completed for Penn State.

In a game that saw Newbill held to only 7 points, Penn State got the secondary scoring it has needed all season. Brandon Taylor added 10 points, five straight during Penn State's comeback bid. Donovon Jack would add 10 more. Frazier scored 14 points.

The Nittany Lions improved to 13-12 on the year, but more importantly continued the upward trend that a three game winning streak started only a few weeks ago. Penn State will return home this weekend to face No. 16 Iowa at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

And judging by Wednesday night, anything is possible.



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