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Lions Look at the Positives Following Big Ten Setback

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By Kelsey Detweiler, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State did not sink shots when it needed to most and fell by a score of 68-64 to Nebraska on Saturday afternoon. The loss marked the team's sixth-straight conference setback in the month of January.

8492061.jpegPenn State had the opportunity to take the lead in the final minute of the game as three Lions found their way to the foul line, but went 1-for-6 collectively and lost by just four.

But sophomore captain D.J. Newbill said that the score at the end of the game didn't come down to just the final minute.

"It came down to the whole game," said Newbill. "We didn't play hard enough, we didn't come out with enough energy and they played harder."

His fellow captain Jermaine Marshall led the team with 18 while Newbill tacked on another 11. Newbill said that although it may not be reflected in their 39 percent shooting, the Lions have been working on their shot selection and generating the offense better and better from one game to the next.

"Offensively, our confidence is very high," said Newbill. "We're moving the ball and that's what we need to do, but we've got to get it done on the defensive end. You've got to take care of the ball."

Head coach Patrick Chambers' said that his confidence is also still running high. While Chambers said that he's still trying to find a way to keep his team motivated and energized for a full 40 minutes of Big Ten basketball, he's also seeing improvements.

"I'm proud of the way they competed and finished that game," said Chambers. "We got some steals, we hit big shots, but if you can't get stops and rebounds then it's going to be a tough game."

Chambers said that the Lions are having great practices, looking confident in their shoot-arounds and coming to work hard every day. It's when the cameras are on and the seats at the Bryce Jordan Center are filled that the head coach is looking for more consistency from his team.

"We didn't play hard in the first 20 minutes, but we created an environment of being loose and being confident," said Chambers. "Things are a lot different when you're practicing then when you're playing in a game. I wish there were more X's and O's."

And while Chambers stressed the particulars, including more production off of his bench and shooting a higher clip at the foul line, he said that it's more important for his team to stick to the basics and focus on the fundamentals of the game to really succeed.

"We need to be the best team we can be by the end of the year," said Chambers. "I'm not sure what that means, but as long as I see progress and I see us get a little bit better each day, then that's the best team we can be."

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