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Jan. 30, 2014
By Tony Mancuso
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Tim Frazier inbounded to Jordan Dickerson, who handed the ball off to D.J. Newbill in front of Value City Arena's scorer's table. Down one with 11 seconds to play in overtime as he crossed halfcourt, Newbill raced to the right side of the floor.
The Philly native wanted the ball in his dominant hand. With one of the Big Ten's top defenders an arm's length away, Newbill began his move with 5.4 seconds on the clock.
After one power dribble to his right, he sent the ball to his left hand under Aaron Craft's extended right arm. Newbill took one more power dribble with his left hand before elevating at the right elbow with 3.5 seconds on the clock.
The ball never touched the rim as it sailed through the cylinder with 1.9 seconds to play, silencing the scarlet and gray-clad crowd.
Just as he did all night, Newbill pulled up for the game-winner with confidence, and he sent the Nittany Lions home with a 71-70 overtime victory over Ohio State, marking their second-straight Big Ten win.
"Craft is a great defender, and I give him a lot of credit," Newbill said. "I just made a quick move from right to left. I pulled up with confidence, and fortunately it went in for me."
Newbill was tremendous all night for the Nittany Lions, but he put on a show in the final 1:08 of regulation and overtime. To get there, though, Penn State had to battle.
The Lions trailed the Buckeyes, 59-48, with 7:58 to play after LaQuinton Ross capped off a 10-2 scoring run for the home team. Penn State never panicked. Newbill tallied three foul shots and Frazier sank a jumper to pull the Lions within six (59-53).
A pair of buckets from Jordan Dickerson, who finished with five blocks on the night, and two more free throws from Newbill set the score at 62-59, Buckeyes, with 2:20 to play.
From there, Newbill took over.
The junior fielded a long pass moving right to left across the floor from Frazier before burying a corner three, which tied the game at 62-62 with 1:08 on the clock. Ohio State scored the next three points to make it 65-62.
Newbill answered with a second clutch 3-pointer. This time it came on a slip screen from freshman Graham Woodward with 11.0 seconds to play.
After Ohio State's final possession in regulation came up empty, the game headed into overtime.
The Buckeyes took a 70-67 lead on a pair of Lenzelle Smith Jr. free throws in the extra frame, but Newbill was not done.
The Philly product snaked through the Ohio State defense for a lay-in with 45 seconds to play, pulling the Lions to within one (70-69). The Buckeyes turned the ball over on the next possession, setting up an inbounds play with 13.2 seconds.
The rest is history, and Newbill etched his place in Penn State lore with a game-winner to sink the Buckeyes on their home floor.
He finished with a game-high 25 points, including 17 in the second half and overtime.
"I'm excited for our players," head coach Patrick Chambers said. "It's so hard when you lose by one possession and the ball doesn't bounce your way. Sometimes you make the big shots, sometimes you don't. Tonight we did, and we learned from those other close games this season how to execute with great confidence."
While Newbill was the star in Columbus on Wednesday night, Penn State won its second-straight conference game because it played team basketball for 40 minutes. The Lions had contributions from a wide-range of players, and without it, they would not have won.
Brandon Taylor scored 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting. Woodward had 11 tallies, including three triples. Frazier filled the stat sheet with eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Dickerson scored four points and had five blocked shots.
"It is a team game. It takes everybody," Newbill said. "From defending to rebounding, it takes five guys executing on offense and executing on defense. We just stick together with a positive attitude."
There is a lot of basketball yet to play as Sunday marks the halfway point of the 2014 Big Ten season, but the road win in Columbus sends Penn State (11-10, 2-6) into the 11:30 a.m. tip against Purdue with a great deal of confidence.