The 2013-14 season officially ended for the Penn State Nittany Lions on Monday night as they were defeated 54-52 on the road by the Siena Saints in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational. The loss was yet another one for the Nittany Lions by less than five points. Penn State was competitive in most games this season, but was unable to do the things necessary at the end of a game to come out with a victory.
After starting the game well and going up early, Penn State fell behind late in the first half and went into the break down 25-21. Things didn’t get any better, as the Nittany Lions were never able to grab a lead in the second half. They were able to cut the lead to two points, but any chance of a comeback was put to rest when D.J. Newbill stepped out-of-bounds trying to bring the ball up the court with less than five seconds remaining.
Despite the mistake at the end of the game, Newbill again led the way for the Nittany Lions, scoring 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds. He finished the year as the team’s leading scorer and played a huge role for Penn State this season.
Penn State really struggled in this one, shooting a dismal 29 percent from the field. Things were not much better from the charity stripe, as the Nittany Lions converted just 12-of-22 foul shots.
Newbill was the only Nittany Lion who managed to score double-digit points. Forward Brandon Taylor was second-best on the team, scoring eight points. He led the team with eight rebounds. Senior point guard Tim Frazier didn’t end his career on a good note, scoring just five points against the saints.
Siena made things tough for the Nittany Lions, especially on the glass. The Saints entered as one of the best rebounding teams in the nation and completely dominated the glass in this one. Siena outrebounded Penn State 40-36, led by Brett Bisping’s 12 boards. Lavon Long led the Saints in scoring with 17 points. Bisping added 12 points while Rob Poole scored 11.
Like the Nittany Lions, the Saints didn’t shoot well either, converting just 40 percent from the field. However, they did enough to pull out the victory. Siena will now play in a semifinal game on Wednesday.
For Penn State, a disappointing season comes to a close. The Nittany Lions played well at times, showing sings of a team capable of making some noise, but inconsistency plagued them for most of the season en route to a record of 17-17.
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