For the second straight game, Penn State got off to a roaring start, and for the second straight game, there were nervous moments, and some, down the stretch. The Lions let an 11 point lead with less than 3 minutes to play slip away, ending up in overtime with the Hornets. DSU took a 73-70 at the halfway point of the extra period, but Penn State would rally for 10 of the final 13 points, to pull out the 80-76 win.
As was the case with Army last weekend, Penn State was flying out of the gate, taking a 21-3 lead just 8 minutes in. The Hornets would fight back to draw within six points at two different points of the half, and would trail by only 8 at the break, 37-29. The Lions were lead by 12 D.J. Newbill points in the first half.
Things appeared to be well in hand for PSU in the second half, leading by as many as 16 with 12 minutes left, and never by fewer than 10, until less than 3 minutes remained in the game. A combination of poor shots, poor rebounding, and poor free throw shooting allowed Delaware State to pull back to 67-64 with 36 seconds left. A back court turnover by D.J. Newbill lead to a quick dunk for the Hornets to pull within 1. Two Newbill free throws put the Lions up 69-66 with 20 seconds to play, but a Tyshawn Bell three with 12 seconds remaining tied things up. Nick Colella was unable to convert a driving layup as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
Neither team found a rhythm in the extra session, but an Albert Thomas layup at the 3 minute mark put the Hornets up 71-70 for their first lead of the game. Tahj Tate would add two more to push the lead to 3 with 2:30 to play, before Penn State finally found their offense. A Newbill layup and Borovnjak free throw pulled the Lions even, before another Tyshawn Bell three put the Hornets back up. Jermaine Marshall quickly countered with a 3 of his own, and a Newbill layup gave Penn State the lead. Two Brandon Taylor free throws iced it with 14 seconds left.
On the day, Newbill lead the way for Penn State with 22 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds. Sasa Borovjnak drew his 2nd start of the season, adding 14 point, 8 rebounds, including 8 of 10 from the charity stripe. Freshman Donovan Jack added 8 off the bench in his 12 minutes of action. Junior guard Casey walker lead Delaware State with 24 points, shooting 5 of 13 from the 3-point line, and keying the Hornets 1st half comeback to keep them in the game early.
Penn State will be off all week for finals, before returning to the Jordan Center next Sunday versus New Hampshire.
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