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Dec. 4, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; Dec. 4, 2011 - Penn State did everything but come away with a win Sunday against a Mississippi team that was uncommonly hot from the three-point arc and escaped the Jordan Center with a 72-70 victory Sunday night in a tight, well-played game.
Ole Miss (7-1), which entered the game shooting 20 percent from the arc on the year, hit a season-high 11 threes on 46 percent shooting from the arc to hand Penn State (6-3) its first home loss of the season. The fast paced game saw nine ties and nine lead changes and neither team lead by more than eight. Nittany Lion senior Cammeron Woodyard (Westminster, Md.) had a look at a game-winning baseline three-pointer with three seconds to play, but it missed the mark as Ole Miss escaped.
"I don't want to make excuses for these guys," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said when asked if the Lions inexperience hurt them down the stretch. "We've got to get it done. We've got to make free throw. We've got to take care of the ball at the end. Ole Miss played great. They're athletic, their tough, their big, but I felt like we shot ourselves in the foot."
Woodyard's baseline drive in traffic with 46 seconds left gave the Nittany Lions a 70-69 lead. He was fouled on the play, but missed the free throw that would have extended the margin. Ole Miss freshman Jarvis Summers drove for a layup on the other end, drew a foul, and notched a free throw to put the Rebels up 72-70 with 34 seconds left.
Tim Frazier's (Houston, Texas) three from the top of the key with 21 seconds to play was altered by Reginald Buckner and Summers pulled down the rebound. Penn State put him on the line, where he missed the front end. Frazier got trapped in the corner on the other end and called a timeout as he fell out of bounds. The Lions inbounded and found Woodyard in the corner for the chance to win.
"There's no moral victories here," Chambers said. "We should have won the game. We should have got it done. We work on the end of game situations all the time. Coach Kennedy did a great job. Their players did a great job. They got offensive rebounds. They got drives. They got stops. They got rebounds. They executed down the stretch. We need to do a better job. It's that simple."
Summers led all scorers with 27 points, hitting 4-of-5 from three. Dundrecous Nelson added 14 points on three treys for the Rebels.
"I just saw coach Kennedy," Chambers said. "I said, 'Look, where did this guy come from?' He hasn't done that all year. I'm looking at my stats, and your playing percentages. Your looking at stats and your going "Okay, this guy drives the ball, he doesn't shoot threes." Four-for-five, and then he does that spin move twice for crucial baskets. He really was terrific."
Frazier had a team-high 17 points and nine assists for Penn State and will enter next week's action as the Big Ten leader in scoring (19.1) and assists (7.1). Redshirt sophomore Sasa Borovnjak (Belgrade, Serbia) came off the bench and didn't miss a shot, scoring a career-high 15 points on 7-of-7 from the floor. Classmate Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) led the team with seven rebounds to go with 10 points, his third double-digit outing in the last three games. Woodyard ended with 10 points for a Penn State team that won the rebounding battle, 34-30, against an Ole Miss team that entered the game averaging 41 rebounds a game.
Penn State hit 48.1 percent in the game, but committed 15 turnovers and went 12-of-19 at the foul line. The Rebels shot 45.8 percent and made 11 threes to Penn State's six.
Ole Miss came out hot hitting six of its first nine from the arc before finishing at 54.5 percent from three in the first half. Penn State kept pace shooting 14-for-27 from the field for 51.9 percent in the first half.
Neither team could pull away to start the game. Sophomore Matt Glover (Orange, Calif.) scored the first five points for the Nittany Lions and assisted on a third bucket by Borovnjak at the 17:00 mark to give Penn State an early 7-3 lead, the largest of the half for the Nittany Lions.
The Rebels rallied to take their first lead, 12-10, at the 15:37 mark with a three from Nelson.
The game was tied four times over the next four minutes, including at 19 after an electric alley-oop from Glover to Frazier for a two-handed jam with 11:18 left to play.
Ole Miss used an 8-2 run as Summers scored eight-straight points for the Rebels, including a pair of threes, to help the Rebels build their largest lead of the game, 27-21, with 8:30 to play in the half.
Penn State rallied, going on a 7-1 run sparked by Woodyard who finished a layup off an assist from Frazier and buried a three. Frazier tied the game at 28 with a layup. Summers closed the half with a lay-up of his own, his 15th point in the half, to give the Rebels a 35-34 halftime lead.
The Nittany Lions came out fighting in the second half, going on a 9-0 run after Ole Miss started the scoring with a three-pointer by Summers. The Nittany Lions extended the run to 14-2 at the 13:26 mark when Borovnjak made a jumper from the foul line to give Penn State its largest lead, 48-40.
Mississippi answered the Nittany Lion surge with an 8-0 run and tied the game at 48, after back-to-back threes from Nick Williams and Nelson.
Frazier ended the run with a jumper for Penn State. Marshall blocked a Summers' short jumper and Frazier kissed a layup high off the glass for a 52-48 Lion lead with 9:39 to go.
Penn State would lead until the closing minute, but by never more than five as both teams made big shots down the stretch. The Lions led 65-60 after Frazier made one of two at the foul line with 4:14 to go.
A Murphy Holloway layup and a three from Summers surrounding one free throw from Billy Oliver (Chatham, N.J.) sliced the lead to one, 66-65, with 3:18 left. Borovnjak scored to push the margin back to three, but Williams buried a 15-foot jumper and Ole Miss took a 69-68 lead on a fast-break layup from Holloway with 1:05 to play setting up the final seconds.
Penn State will return to the Jordan Center on Wednesday to take on Lafayette in a 7:00 p.m. tip.
Season tickets for Nittany Lion Basketball are $200 for adults, $170 for faculty/staff and seniors, $80 for youth (18 and under) and $59 for students. PNC Flex Books are also available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game on Feb. 11 vs. Nebraska and the Lady Lions' Think Pink game on Feb. 26 vs. Minnesota.
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.
Tim Frazier led Penn State with 17 point and nine assists and now leads the Big Ten in both scoring (19.1) and assists (7.1) on the year.
In his first collegiate start, sophomore Jermaine Marshall scored in the double digits, marking his third double-figure game in the last five. Marshall entered the season with one double-figure scoring game.
Sasa Borovnjak scored a career high in 15 points in a career high of 27 minutes played.
Tim Frazier scored in the double digits for the eighth time this season, 18th time in his career, posting a team-high 17 for the Nittany Lions. Frazier led the team in scoring for the seventh time this season, ninth time in his career.
The Penn State bench outscored Mississippi's - 25-14.
Penn State won the rebounding battle 34-30.
The loss was the first season game, which was decided by three points or less.