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Jan. 11, 2013
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - "We grind, we're gritty and we play hard," Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers said on Thursday night. "We just need to continue to play that way."
Penn State fell to 0-3 in conference play in the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday night with a 70-54 loss to Northwestern.
While the Lions continue to work through a few growing pains to begin conference play, they will especially look to D.J. Newbill, Jermaine Marshall and Ross Travis, who are each averaging 34 or more minutes per game, to maintain consistent performances.
Newbill notched his fifth 20-point game on the year against the Wildcats, scoring a game-high 20 points with 3 assists and shooting 32 percent from the floor.
Similarly, the Lions will hope to continue playing tough, gritty Penn State basketball for a full 40 minutes in each of their contests - especially on defense. The guys in blue and white have out-rebounded their opponents in nine-straight games. The Lions snagged 37 rebounds to Northwestern's 33 on Thursday night.
While Penn State has struggled to sink shots from the floor, Chambers said that he and his team just need to keep pushing the pace and taking chances. The head coach noted that there is still a lot of season left to be played in the conference, and said that his team simply needs to adjust.
"When you're playing a Big Ten team there's no room for mistakes," said Chambers. "We've got to get over that hump and think about playing Penn State basketball."
The Lions' tough play and grit showed against the Wildcats as they worked their way to the foul line nine times and sunk 15 of 18 free throws. Penn State's performance at the line marks its second best of the season, shooting 83 percent with the ball in its hands.
That demeanor and dedication to playing Penn State basketball is what Chambers said his team will need to round out the week and carry into the remainder of the Big Ten season. After a hard-fought game against No. 5 Indiana on Monday night, Chambers said he knows that his squad can compete.
"It's there," Chambers said of his team's talent. "I just have to channel it and focus it and do a better job of getting them to use it to its full potential. We'll get there."