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Dec. 03, 2013
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Tim Frazier led Penn State with 27 points but the Nittany Lions fell to Pitt 78-69 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Tuesday night at the Petersen Events Center.
Talib Zanna scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and Pittsburgh pulled away late for a 78-69 victory in the Panther's first Challenge in the ACC.
James Robinson added 10 points for Pitt (8-0), including consecutive fast break layups with less than 3 minutes to play to turn aside one final rally by the Nittany Lions (6-3).
D.J. Newbill chipped in 18 but Penn State couldn't keep up when Pitt turned up the pressure down the stretch.
The Nittany Lions took a 59-58 lead on a layup by Donovon Jack with 5:15 left but Pitt responded with an 11-3 burst to take control.
Zanna and Robinson were in the thick of it. Robinson hit a pair of free throws to give the Panthers a 60-59 lead. The teams traded 3-pointers when Zanna blocked a Newbill layup attempt, starting a fast break that ended with Robinson snaking in for a layup. The Nittany Lions called timeout to settle things down, but Robinson knocked the ball away from Frazier then chased it down on his way to a lay-up that pushed the lead to 67-62.
The Nittany Lions missed on their next possession and Zanna clinched it with the kind of play the Panthers will need from him if they want to compete in their first year in the ACC. He backed his way into the left block then appeared to lose control. He corralled the ball and signaled to a teammate as if to say "it's OK" then dropped a hook shot from 5-feet to push Pitt's advantage to 69-62.
Frazier responded with a quick layup, but the Nittany Lions would get no closer.
Pitt shot just 2 of 11 from 3-point range but overcame it by outrebounding the Nittany Lions 38-29 and having its way in the lane in the second half.
Frazier had little trouble getting to the basket, breaking down the Panthers off the dribble and attacking whoever happened to be in the way. He scored 13 points before the break, including a twisting layup that gave Penn State a 30-28 lead at half and marking the first time all season the Panthers haven't led heading into the final 20 minutes.