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Penn State Basketball: Nittany Lions Fall In Foul Frenzy Thursday Night 80-67

by on February 21, 2014 9:55 AM

Penn State basketball couldn't overcome a tenacious Nebraska defense and 48 free throw attempts by the Cornhuskers, falling 80-67 in Lincoln on Wednesday night.

Nebraska came out firing, fresh off of a road upset over Michigan State.

The Nittany Lions quickly found themselves trailing early 15-7 deficit. Penn State would cut a 30-18 lead with 7:51 to play in the opening 20 minutes to only five points with just over four minutes to play in the half. But Penn State couldn't hang on. Nebraska pushed the lead back out to double digits quickly as Penn State cooled off from the floor. The Cornhuskers took a 39-27 halftime lead.

In the second half, Nebraska would continue to pound the glass, drawing fouls and making timely shots. The Cornhuskers extended their lead to 70-43 mark with 8:02 to go in the contest. The Nittany Lions would slowly climb back into the game but would never get closer than the game's final 13 point margin. Nebraska substituted out the majority of its meaningful rotation with the game decided.

Road victories are always hard to come by in the Big Ten. It didn't help that Nebraska shot 48 free throws to Penn State's 23. At one point, the margin was in Nebraska's favor to the tune of 40 free throws to Penn State's 15.

Ironically, despite the disparity at the line, Penn State would in fact attempt 20 more shots from the floor than Nebraska and make three more baskets than the Cornhuskers. But the free throw shooting clinic's one-sided nature provided an extra hurdle for the Nittany Lions to overcome in addition to Nebraska's stout defense and 44-percent shooting from the floor.

Additionally, Penn State players and coaches would be called for a total of four technical fouls. Two on Brandon Taylor for after the whistle altercations; one on forward Ross Travis for a verbal altercation; and one on head coach Patrick Chambers. None of the incidents themselves will garner any additional action from the league, but the game's five total technical fouls marked an additional oddity to an already odd game.

To continue the trend of odd statistics, Penn State would score more points: in the paint, off of turnovers, second chance points, fast break points, and score one more point off of the bench in the loss.

Penn State was led by Tim Frazier and DJ Newbill's 17 points. Seven additional Nittany Lions would score while only Travis would come within a basket of breaking into double figures with eight points. Nebraska was led by Terran Petteway's 26 points and Petteway continued to cement his status as one of the nation's rising stars.

The Nittany Lions will return home for a Thursday meeting with the Ohio State Buckeyes.

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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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