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Penn State downs USF 53-49

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Penn State (4-1) got a career-high 27 points from junior Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) to close out play in the 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament Sunday with a 53-49 victory over South Florida (3-2) at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

USF held a five-point lead, 43-38, with 5:07 to play when Penn State employed atrapping 1-2-2 press to create a pair of turnovers and reel of a 12-1 run to seize a 50-44 lead after a Billy Oliver top of the key three with 3:03 left.

USF answered with Blake Nash’s third three of the second half to get back within three, 50-47, with 1:47 to go but would get no closer as Frazier hit a jumper and Matt Glover one of two at the line to seal Penn State’s fourth victory of the season. Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) sparked Penn State with eight first half points on his way to 14 to join Frazier in double-figures for Penn State.

The Nittany Lions shot 52 percent in the second half after both team struggled at less than 30 percent shooting in the first half. USF was led by 14 points from Nash and 11 points and 10 rebounds from Toarlyn Fitzpatrick. Victor Rudd, Jr. entered the game leading USF averaging 16.5 ppg but was held to just four on 2-of-10 shooting. Senior 6-10 forward Augustus Gilchrist played only 13 minutes for the Bulls after leaving with two points and two boards in the first half with an injury.

Both teams struggled through a rough shooting first half and went to the locker rooms tied at 17. Penn State got eight points from Frazier and Marshall and a free throw from Cammeron Woodyard (Westminster, Md.) to account for its points while shooting 22.7 percent from the floor and 1-of-12 from three.

The Penn State defense forced 12 first half turnovers from the Bulls and grabbed seven steals as USF managed just 26.7 percent shooting and 1-of-5 from three. Seven Bulls scored in the first stanza, but none more than three points.

USF jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, but Penn State responded with an 11-0 run to claim a 13-8 lead after a Marshall jumper. Marshall provided an early spark for the Lions converting a pair of three-point plays on and-one drives and getting a pair of steals while tipping a pass for another.

Penn State held USF scoreless for eight minutes while it extended its run to 14-2 and built a 16-10 lead as Tim Frazier hit the Lions first three with 4:45 to play in the half. Penn State scored just one point the rest of the way, however, as USF mounted a 7-0 run to take a 17-16 lead after a pair of Shaun Noriega free throws with 2:33 to go in the half. Woodyard made one of two at the line after being fouled on a put-back attempt to knot the score with 1:27 to play.

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