Nittany Lions Down Davidson, 59-57, To Close Charleston Classic Run
Nov. 22, 2009
CHARLESTON, S.C., Nov. 22, 2009 - The Nittany Lion basketball team (3-2) led by as many as 19 points in the first half before holding on against a pesky Davidson (0-4) team for a 59-57 victory Sunday morning at the Charleston Classic.
Penn State got 12 points from Jeff Brooks and strong contributions from a pair of true-freshmen to log their first win of the Classic. Penn State leaves Charleston with a 1-2 mark at the Classic after struggling shooting in five of six halves. Talor Battle added 11 points and David Jackson 10 for Penn State, but it was the contributions of Tim Frazier (seven points, five boards, three steals, three assists) and Bill Edwards (eight points, six boards) that sparked the Lions.
A miss of a five-footer in the lane by Brendan McKillop, the son of Davidson coach Bob McKillop, with seconds remaining preserved a two-point margin for the Nittany Lions. The Wildcats shot 51.7 percent in the second half to Penn State's 37 percent to overcome 19-point first half deficit and lead by as many as four in the second 20 minutes.
Jake Cohen led Davidson with 13 points while Will Archambault added 12 and J.P. Kuhlman 11. Davidson won the rebounding battle, 35-33, but Penn State hit 12-of-15 at the foul line to Davidson's 4-of-5.
A 26-7 Davidson run over the last part of the first half and the first minutes of the second closed a 28-9 Penn State lead to a tie game, 35-35, with 16:30 to play. A Battle three regained some momentum for Penn State, but a pair of McKillop threes and a bucket from Jake Cohen gave Davidson a three-point edge, 43-40 with 13:29 to play.
Edwards tied the game with a three, but Davidson ran of four straight to take a 49-45 lead on Kuhlman's short jumper with 9:46 to play.
Battle got a three and a lay-up to run off five straight to return the lead to Penn State, but Archambault hit a three for Davidson. Chris Babb tied the game with a pair of free throws and then Battle fed Brooks coming down the lane for a tomahawk slam and a foul. Brooks converted the free throw for a 55-52 Penn State advantage with 5:58 to play.
Davidson tied it on its next possession as Kuhlman buried a three. Frazier answered with a jumper in the lane. Neither team scored for the next three minutes until Battle spun in the lane, flipped the ball to Brooks and the 6-8 junior jammed it home for a 59-55 Penn State lead with 1:58 left.
Battle turned it over on the next possession and Kuhlman hit a jumper to cut the lead to two. Battle missed on the other end and Davidson had the ball with 16 seconds to play and a chance to win or tie. McKillop's jumper came up short and Jackson batted it away in a scramble to preserve the win.
After struggling through four halves of poor shooting at the Classic, Penn State came out hitting early Sunday morning sparked by Frazier, who made his first career start. Penn State leapt to an early 9-2 lead as Frazier got an assist on a Battle three, made a steal and a lay-up and another steal and a dunk on three consecutive plays forcing a Davidson timeout with 16:06 to play.
The Lions hit at an early 56 percent clip as Frazier and Battle broke down the Davidson guards off the dribble and pushed in transition. When Battle fed Jones down the lane for a three-point play in transition, the Lions led 16-4 and Jones pushed the lead to 18-4 the next time down with a 10-foot jumper.
Freshman Bill Edwards saw his first action in a Nittany Lion uniform after partially tearing his right MCL in the preseason and promptly drained a 12-foot baseline jumper off the dribble just seconds after entering the game. He would go on to score five in the half.
Penn State used a 7-0 to further push its lead as Davidson struggled from the field. Brooks logged five straight points finishing a nice drive in the lane and then netting a corner three. A Jackson free throw eventually pushed the Lion margin to 19, 28-9, with just over five minutes to play.
Penn State got a little comfortable and Davidson started to hit and the Wildcats ended the half on a 13-3 run, using a series of Lion turnovers, a timely three from Jake Cohen and four straight points from Will Archambault to cut the lead to nine, 31-22, at the half.
After shooting just 31 percent in its first two games, Penn State hit at 42 percent in the first half and held Davidson to 30 percent shooting. Brooks led the Lions with seven points, while Jackson got six and Frazier and Edwards had five each.
Penn State will return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday when they take on Sacred Heart in a 6:00 p.m. tip live on the Big Ten Network. The game will mark the Lions' one home stop over in a stretch of five of six games away from the Jordan Center. After Wednesday, Penn State heads to Virginia to take on the Cavaliers in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge match on Monday, Nov. 30 and then go to Philadelphia for a Saturday, Dec. 5 showdown with Temple.