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Dec. 8, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; DEC. 8, 2012 - Fans at the Bryce Jordan Center went home happy with free Big Macs Saturday as Penn State (5-4) shot a season-best 50 percent from the floor and posted a season high 78 points to down Army (4-4), 78-70, on Military Appreciation Day. All fans in attendance received coupons for free McDonald's Big Macs with the Lions eclipsing 70 points for the first time on the year.
Sophomore D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) posted double figures in points for his fifth-straight game, dropping a team-high 19 tallies in the victory. The 6-4 guard also posted six rebounds and five assists. He is averaging 16.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game in his last five contests.
Sophomore Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) tallied his second career double-double, scoring 14 points and adding 10 rebounds in 38 minutes of action. Junior Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) chipped in 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting while freshman Brandon Taylor (Tabernacle, N.J.) added 14 points as Penn State had four players score in double-digits for the first time on the year.
"That's one thing that we try to do is share the ball, and play with confidence," Newbill said. "If a guy has an open shot, just stick it. That's what Coach tells us to do, and I think that's what we're doing. I think that's how we got four guys in double digits."
Penn State shot 56.3 percent from the field and held Army to just 37.5 percent shooting in the first half to open up a 40-28 halftime lead. The Lions led by as many as 15 in the first half, but the Black Knights would cut the margin to two with 12 minutes to go in the contest before a 10-0 Lion surge pushed the lead back to double-digits, 68-54, with 5:32 to play.
Army was led by 23 points from Ella Ellis on 4-of-8 from three and 9-of-11 from the foul line. The Black Knights shot 38.9 percent in the game and were out-rebounded 41-27 by a Penn State team that posted season highs in rebounds and assists (13) and held a 15-2 advantage in second half points.
"Penn State plays hard," Army coach Zach Spiker said. "They're a direct reflection of their coach. They play hard. It was not a surprise that they did that. It's what they are. It's who they are. That's how they're going to be good. That's how Patrick is going to build a program."
Travis came out hot hitting his first three shots and scoring seven of the Lions' first nine points. Penn State scored eight straight points on a three and a step-back baseline jumper from Taylor and a three from Marshall to take and early 23-10 lead.
Penn State pushed the margin to a season high 15 points after back-to-back buckets by Taylor and Marshall made it 33-18 with 4:20 to play in the half.
Trailing by 12 at the start of the second half, Army's press began to create fatigue in the Lions and the Knights used a 22-12 run in the first eight minutes to cut the margin to two points, 52-50, following layups from Andrew Stire and Kyle Wilson with 12:00 to play.
Penn State called a timeout and responded with a Nick Colella three after retaking the floor. Colella tied a career high with three treys in the game and logged nine points. Army had the lead back down to four, 58-54, following a Jordan Springer free throw with 9:52 to play, but a Newbill layup began a 10-0 Lion run that would establish a 68-54 lead after Taylor scored five straight points capped by his second three of the game with 5:32 to play.
"They made their run, and now it was time for us to make the final run to win the game," Newbill said. "I was basically just trying to motivate the guys to keep playing. They got some shots and rebounds, and obviously I didn't want our guys to get down. I told them to keep up our energy, and keep fighting.
Army would get no closer than eight the rest of the way as Kyle Wilson hit a three with 16 seconds remaining for the final margin.
Penn State will get a week off before returning to the Jordan Center next Saturday for a 2:00 p.m. tip vs. Delaware State.
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.
Penn State vs. Army - Post-Game Notes
Penn State shot a season-best 50.9% (29-57) for the game to post a season high 78 points.
Penn State tied a season high with seven made threes and had a season best 13 assists.
The Lions hit 56.3% in the first half to score 40, their second time breaking 40 points in a half on the season.
Penn State posted a 41-27 (+14) advantage in rebounding on the night. The 41 rebounds marked a season best.
Jermaine Marshall scored 16 points for his fifth straight double-digit scoring game and his seventh on the season.
D.J. Newbill led Penn State in scoring with 19 points, his second time leading the team in scoring on the year. He posted double-digit scoring for the sixth straight game and the eighth time in nine games on the year.
Penn State had four players reach double-figure scoring in the same game for the first time on the year: Newbill (19), Marshall (16), Travis (14) and Taylor (14).
Ross Travis posted his second double-double of the season and the second of his career with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Travis started the game 3-of-3 from the floor scoring seven of Penn State's first nine points.
Travis posted double-digit scoring outings in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. He had 12 at La Salle on Wednesday.
Sasa Borovnjak made his first start of the season and scored the first point of the game on a put-back. It was his eighth career start.
Nick Colella tied a career high with three three-pointers on the day for nine points.