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Feb. 16, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; FEB. 16, 2012 - Having reduced a 16-point Penn State lead to three with 24 seconds to play, Iowa intentionally put red-shirt freshman Jon Graham (Baltimore, Md.) on the foul line. The 6-9 forward calmly hit nothing but net on the pair effectively icing a 69-64 victory for the Nittany Lions Thursday night in the Bryce Jordan Center.
"I'm just so proud of him for showing the confidence that he had to knock those down," Chambers said of Graham who entered the night a 34 percent foul shooter. "I think you are going to see a much better, more confident Jon Graham now. I think this is going to help him. He's only a freshman. This can only build his confidence and self-esteem."
Graham's career-high 10 points and career-high tying six rebounds were a big part of Penn State (12-15; 4-10 Big Ten) posting back-to-back wins for the first time since a Dec. 21 victory over Cornell. Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) led the Lions with 18 points, four assists and four steals, but on a night when Iowa (13-13; 5-8 Big Ten) mixed man-to-man and zone defenses focused on stopping the 6-1 guard, his Nittany Lion teammates came up big. Eight Lions scored in the game, the most since a Jan. 15 game vs. Minnesota. Senior Cammeron Woodyard (Westminster, Md.) logged 13 points, his 11th double-figure game at home, and Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds in his career-high tying sixth-straight double-digit outing.
"We are willing to do anything for each other," Woodyard said. " When a leader, like Tim struggles, every one picks him up. It's kind of hard to not feed off each other. When one person picks up for another person, it's easier for another person to step in and pick up for the next. Jon really set the tone for us. He was a beast on offense, finished strong in the hole."
Iowa was led by 21 points from senior Matt Gatens who hit his first five three-point attempts of the second half on his way to 19 second half points that brought Iowa back into the game. Aaron White added 16 for an Iowa team that shot just 26.9 percent in the first half, but hit 56.5 percent in the second to cut a 16-point second half deficit to two, 63-61, with 2:00 to play.
Penn State pushed a 38-24 halftime lead to a 16-point margin early in the second half and led 45-33 with 16:15 to play when Gatens started to rip threes. His first cut the lead to nine with 15:00 to play. The Lions rebuilt their margin to 12 after a pair of Frazier free throws, but when Gatens hit again from the arc with 11:21 to play the lead was down to seven, 50-43.
Frazier drove for a lay-up and then got a steal and Nick Colella, who made his third straight start, finished with a lay-up and the lead was back to 11. Gatens hit again. Marshall answered with a lay-up, but Gatens fourth three of the half followed and the lead was back down to seven, 56-49, with 8:32 to play. Gatens three sparked a 7-0 run capped by a Melsahn Basabe dunk that got the Hawkeyes within three, 56-53, with 6:05 to play.
Frazier scored four straight for the Lions, getting a lay-up on an assist from Matt Glover and then getting a steal from Zach McCabe and hitting two at the line after being fouled on a driving lay-up.
Gatens answered with his fifth three of the half and the lead was back to four, 60-56. Sasa Borovnjak hit one of two at the foul line before a White tip-in and one free throw from Josh Oglesby got Iowa to within two, 61-59, with 2:40 to play.
Frazier again answered the bell, driving to the basket for a lay-up in traffic. Iowa got two free throws from Devyn Marble to stay close. Frazier fed Marshall for a top of the key three that found nothing but net and the Lions led, 66-61, with 1:45 to play.
Gatens scored on a tough shot in the lane and the lead was back to three, 66-63. Penn State missed on two chances to extend the margin on its next possession. Marshall fouled Basabe as the Hawkeye grabbed a Lion miss, but the sophomore forward missed both free throws with 49 seconds left. Iowa sent Graham to the line on Penn State's next possession where he pushed the lead back to five with 24 seconds left.
Gatens missed from three. Iowa got the rebound, but Oglesby's three was off and Basabe grabbed the board and was fouled by Glover. Basabe hit one of two at the line and the Hawkeyes sent Woodyard to the line down 68-64 with seven seconds to play. Woodyard hit the first, but the second was off leaving the Lions just short of the 70-point mark for the second straight game.
Penn State started the game off strong with six unanswered points to take the early lead 10-3. Iowa came back with seven straight capped by a White three and lay-up to tie the game at 10. After a Chambers' timeout, the Lions responded with a 10-point run with shots from Woodyard, Marshall, Ross Travis, and Graham to take a 20-10 lead.
The Lions pushed the lead to 13 but put Iowa in the bonus with fouls and the Hawkeyes hit four straight at the line to cut the lead to 27-21 with 4:00 to play. Woodyard hit two big threes and a pair of foul shots in a 10-3 Lion run that re-established a 13-point lead, 37-24. With less than a minute remaining, Glover made a steal, forced a foul and hit one at the line resulting in a 14-point lead going into the half.
Penn State will hit the road on the weekend for a Sunday game at Wisconsin. The Lions and Badgers tip off at 4:00 p.m. ET in Madison live on the Big Ten Network.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets or group tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level tickets for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5. Penn State also offers special basketball group ticket rates for groups of 15 fans or more. Nittany Lion group rates are $10 for adults and $5 for youth.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.
The Lions 69-64 win marked the first back-to-back wins for Penn State since victories over Mount St. Mary's (Dec. 18) and Cornell (Dec. 21).
The Nittany Lions had eight players score in the game, the most since Penn State faced Minnesota on Jan. 15. All eight had points in the first half.
Four Nittany Lions shot 100 percent at the free throw line as Penn State hit 22-of-28 (78.6%) at the charity stripe.
With his four assists, Tim Frazier recorded just the sixth season of 170 assists or more in Penn State basketball history. His 171 on the year rank sixth all-time, just two behind his fifth place total of 173 last year.
Tim Frazier has led the Nittany Lions in scoring 21 times on the year.
Jon Graham played a career high 26 minutes, recording a career-best 10 points, career-high tying six rebounds and shooting 4-of-4 at the foul line.
In his third career start, Nick Colella went a career best 4-of-4 at the charity stripe and scored nine points. He has scored at least one three-pointer in each of the last seven games.
Jermaine Marshall posted 10 points and has scored in double-digits in a career-best tying six-straight games.
Cammeron Woodyard recorded his 11th double figure scoring game at home this season posting 13 points. He is averaging 11.6 ppg in 15 home games on the year.