Lions Stay Confident After 65-51 Setback to Buckeyes

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By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Despite Saturday's 65-51 setback to 14th-ranked Ohio State, the Nittany Lions (8-12, 0-8) played the type of basketball that head coach Patrick Chambers likes to see. He said that his team played a game that not only showed heart, but more importantly improvement.

8513831.jpeg"Throw the record out, we're getting better," said Chambers. "You may not see it, but I see it."

The Buckeyes out-rebounded, out-shot and out-scored Penn State on its own floor, but Chambers said that he and his team know that they are up against the best competition in the nation, and they are improving on both ends of the floor with each passing game.  Chambers was pleased with the execution of the gameplan on Saturday, but the Lions need to start making more shots.

"We're playing against the best teams in the country top to bottom," said Chambers. "We're getting better and hopefully we'll see those results real soon."

The Lions held an Ohio State team that averaged 73.4 points per game to just 65. They allowed Big Ten leading point scorer Deshaun Thomas, who came in averaging 20.5 points per game, to score just 11. They forced eight turnovers and committed just four, and starting guard D.J. Newbill said it was mostly because they were focusing on the little things.

"We're just keeping it to basic basketball and stick to our fundamentals and stick to our habits," said Newbill. "I think that's one of the things that helped us take care of the ball today."

Penn State kept pressure on the Buckeyes from tip-off until the final buzzer. Chambers said that he thought the Lions challenged Ohio State for a full 40 minutes.

"We tried to mix our defenses up and we tried to mix coverages up on ball screens, coverage up on the posts," said Chambers. "We made sure we had a body on most of these guys and we made sure that we made it very difficult for them to score the basketball."

Jermaine Marshall notched a game-high 16 points and made it the 37th double-digit scoring game in his career. Newbill tacked on another 15 and facilitated six assists, and the two provided the spark that Penn State needed on the offensive end.

But the Lions need more than just Marshall and Newbill to provide outlets for scoring. Moving forward, Marshall said that it's important for him and his teammates to stick to their staple of playing solid defense and developing the offense as it goes.

"I definitely like the shots that we're getting, we've just got to be able to knock them down," said Marshall. "We believe and we just keep defending the rebound and our shots will drop."

Penn State will look to stay aggressive and take open shots every chance they get. And with more than half of the conference season yet to be played, Newbill said that his entire team is still confident in its abilities.

"We've just got to keep getting better and keep working on our habits," said Newbill. "In the gym, everything is going to stay the same and we've just got to keep coming and keep fighting and if we come out with a strong will success is going to find us." 

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