STATE COLLEGE —
As Penn State watched its 12-point halftime lead over Army dwindle to just two in a matter of eight minutes, Patrick Chambers’ signature positive energy kicked into high gear.
“We just took a big punch but we have to get off the floor and punch back and we have to continue to fight and don’t get down on each other,” the Nittany Lions coach said he told his squad during a timeout.
“Find the energy. We can’t get nervous and fold the tents, just keep grinding and get a stop. That’s what we did.”
The Nittany Lions held off a strong second-half surge by the Black Knights, downing Army 78-70 Saturday behind D.J. Newbill’s 19 points and Jermaine Marshall’s 16.
Penn State (5-4) led by as much as 15 in the first half only to see its lead cut to two with 12 minutes remaining in the game. Army went cold from there, however, going more than seven minutes without a basket.
Ross Travis added 14 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, and freshman guard Brandon Taylor added 14 points as the Nittany Lions had four players score in double digits.
“That’s big,” said Newbill. “That’s one thing we try to do is share the ball and play with confidence. If a guy gets an open shot, just stick it. That’s what coach tells us to do and that’s what we were doing.”
West Virginia 68, Virginia Tech 67: At Morgantown, W.Va., West Virginia’s Juwan Staton made a layup with 5 seconds left Saturday to hand the Mountaineers a 68-67 victory over Virginia Tech, but it was the bench that came through for coach Bob Huggins’ bunch, outscoring the Hokies’ reserves 36-4.
Erick Green (23 points) missed a last-second jumper for Virginia Tech’s (7-1) first loss of the season. West Virginia is 4-3.