Nittany Lions Fall to Akron in Puerto Rico, 85-60

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Nick Colella


Nick Colella

Nov. 18, 2012

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BAYAMON, PUERTO RICO; NOV. 18, 2012 - Penn State (2-2) battled for one half without leading scorer Tim Frazier but couldn't sustain its offense without the do-everything guard and fell, 85-60, to Akron (3-2) in their final contest of the sixth annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Frazier left the floor at the 14:30 mark of the first half with a lower, left leg injury and did not return. He walked out of the arena under his own power. Team doctors will evaluate the extent of the injury when Penn State returns to State College on Monday.

With Frazier out, sophomore guard D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) handled the point-guard duties for much of the game and posted a career high 20 points to go with six rebounds, five assists and two steals in the 6-4 guard's best game since his return to the floor after sitting out last season. Fellow sophomore Ross Travis added a career high 10 rebounds to go with 11 points and freshman Brandon Taylor had a career high 10 points in 22 minutes.

Akron shot 68 percent from the floor and 5-of-8 from three in the second half to overcome a 36-32 halftime deficit and out gun a depleted Lion offense. The Zips shot 56 percent for the game and hit 8-of-16 from three. They were led by 7-0 center Zeke Marshall, the son of former Nittany Lion standout Jon Marshall, who posted 17 points and seven boards and swatted six Penn State shots.

Penn State played its best offensive half of the season in the first 20 minutes shooting 48 percent and 5-of-9 from three to take a 36-32 halftime lead. Penn State led 9-8 when Frazier left the floor. Newbill was outstanding and his steal and dunk gave the Lions an early 18-11 lead as he scored 10 points through the first nine minutes. He had 14 of his 20 points in the first half.

A Marshall three and a put-back from Jon Graham had the Lions leading 23-15 with 9:30 to play in the half. Akron used a 10-2 run to tie the game at 25 on a Jake Kretzer three, but Newbill answered. Kretzer again hit from three, but Marshall hit a nice jumper and the Lions led 29-28.

A Nick Colella three and a nice Newbill crossover and teardrop jumper staked the Lions to a 36-32 halftime margin.

The second half was all Zips as Akron used a 26-4 run to open the second 20 minutes and seize a 63-43 lead with 10:46 to play. The Zips hit 9-of-10 shots at one point and Penn State struggled to find offense without Frazier.

Akron pushed its lead to as much as 28 as Penn State shot just 25 percent in the half and 2-of-12 to three to finish the game at 36 percent from the floor.

The Nittany Lions return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Friday for a special 4:30 p.m. "Black Friday" tip vs. Bucknell. Penn State is offering a special ticket package for the game with fans able to get four tickets to the game and a voucher for $20 worth of concession stand food and drinks for just $48. Bucknell started the season 4-0, including a 70-65 victory at Purdue, and was finishing play at the 2K Sports Classic Sunday vs. West Alabama.

For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist (@PSUSTRETCH) and the official Penn State men's basketball handle (@PennStateMBB) on Twitter and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.

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