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Penn State falls to Lafayette, 61-57

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Marshall leads Lions with 20 points and career-high nine rebounds

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; Dec. 7, 2011 – Penn State (6-4) struggled through a tough shooting night and still nearly managed to pull out a win before falling, 61-57, to Lafayette (4-5) Wednesday at the Bryce JordanCenter.

The Nittany Lions stayed in the game by dominating the boards (47-26), getting 15 second chance points on 20 offensive rebounds and getting to the foul line 26 times, but couldn’t overcome a 33 percent shooting performance and a 3-of-23 (13%) night from behind thethree-point line. Penn State hit just 16 of its 26 foul shots (61.5%) and saw Lafayette knock down nine threes and go 16-of-20 from the foul line to secure the win despite shooting just 38 percent overall on the night and suffering a 28-10 disadvantage in points in the paint.

Sophomore Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) posted his second career 20-point game leading the Lions with 20 points and a career-high nine rebounds on the night. Freshman Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) kicked in career-highs of 12 points and eight rebounds and senior Cammeron Woodyard (Westminster, Md.) added 10 points and a career-high equaling seven boards. Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas), who entered the night leading the Big Ten in scoring (19.2) and assists (7.1), posted nine assists on the night but went 0-of-12 from the floor and scored all three of his points at the foul line.

“I think the 2-3 zone probably affected him a little bit,” Chambers said of Frazier. “Once you started missing some shots it starts getting in your head sometimes. I give Lafayette all the credit. It was a great game plan. They did a little 1-3-1 and a little 2-3 and it worked. We just couldn’t make a shot.”

Lafayette was led by 14 points from freshman Seth Hinrichs, who went 4-of-9 from three, and senior Jim Mower, who was 8-of-9 from the foul line.

“I thought we got pretty good shots, but some days the ball doesn’t go in the basket,” Chambers said. “The game is really simple – if you make shots you are going to win a lot of games. We made a lot of shots on Sunday and we didn’t make a lot of shots today. I thought we did a really good job in the second half defensively. We only gave up 24 points against five seniors with a great coach.”

Trailing 37-32 at the half, Penn State saw Lafayette build a 10-point lead, 51-41, using a 7-0 run capped by a three from Nick Petkovich and a jumper from Joey Ptasinski with 11:40 to play. Penn State managed to cut that lead to two points on four occasions down the stretch, despite shooting just 28 percent in the half, but could never get the game tied.

Penn State went to a full-court press that generated a few turnovers and got a few easy buckets after long missesfrom Lafayette. Following a pair of Marshall free throws and a layup from Travis, the Lions trailed 53-51 with 4:35 to go and seemed to be mounting arally.

However, Hinrich’s fourth three of the game pushed the Lafayette lead back to five a minute later. Marshall answered with a top-of-the-key three and Penn State was back within two, 58-56, with 2:12 remaining. A couple of late game turnovers and two missed free throws down the stretch prevented the Lions from completing the comeback.

Petkovich increased the Lafayettelead to three hitting 1-of-2 at the line. Frazier turned it over on the Lions’ next possession, but following a scramble for a loose ball Lafayette called a timeout it didn’t and incurred a technical on the bench. Frazier hit 1-of-2 at the line to cut the lead to two, 59-57, with 10 seconds remaining.

Lafayette inbounded to Mower who was fouled by Billy Oliver (Chatham, N.J.) with six seconds remaining and sank two free throws. Woodyards’ long three was off and the Leopards walked off with the first-ever victory for a Patriot League team over Penn State in 26 games.

Penn State jumped to an early 7-0lead, but then went cold hitting just 1-of-13 from three in the first half and 9-17 (52%) from the foul line as Lafayette took a 37-32 lead to the half.

The Leopards were hot from three early and finished 7-of-17 from the arc in the half as Penn State hit just 36.7 percent from the floor overall.

Three early Leopard threes and a three-point play from Mower helped Lafayette tie the game at 14. Ross Travis, who scored seven first half points, put the Lions back up by two, but the Leopards then went on a 10-0 run and built a 24-16 lead after back-to-back buckets from Dan Trist.

Lafayette led by as many as nine,26-17, following a pair of free throws after Travis picked up an unsportsmanlike foul while boxing out during a free throw.

Penn State got within three, 29-26, on an Oliver bucket and again at, 35-32, when Oliver finally ended an 0-11 Nittany Lion start from three with Penn State’s first bucket from behind the arc with 1:47 remaining in the half. Lafayette closed the scoring in the half with apair of free throws.

Penn State will return to the floor Saturday when it takes on Duquesne at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center. The game is set for a 7:00 p.m. tip.

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