STATE COLLEGE – D.J. Newbill scored 19 points and Jermaine Marshall added 16 as Penn State survived a second-half surge by Army in a 78-70 win Saturday.
Penn State (5-4) led by as much as 15 in the first half and carried a 12-point lead into the break, 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.
The Nittany Lions had four players score in double digits as Ross Travis added 14 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.
Army (4-4) never led in the game, and was paced by Ella Ellis, who scored 23 points before fouling out with just under seven minutes left in the game. The Black Knights shot 38.9 percent (21 for 54) from the floor and were outrebounded 41-27.
While Army went cold for a long stretch, the Nittany Lions began to heat up with Newbill leading the way. The sophomore guard scored 14 points in the second half.
With the Black Knights gaining momentum early in the second half, Newbill and Travis kept Penn State’s energy high with a jaw-dropping alley-oop at the 13:44 mark. Newbill floated a pass up to Travis in transition, which Travis slammed down with two hands.
Ellis fouled out on a charge call that got a crowd of 7,247 at the Bryce Jordan Center on its feet. Without its top scorer, Army’s offense struggled down the stretch.
Penn State scored four quick points in Ellis’ absence to increase its lead to 14. Three-pointers by Nick Colella and by freshman Brandon Taylor kept the Black Knights at bay. Colella was 3 of 5 from deep on the day, while Taylor went 2 for 4.
The Black Knights had just two other players score at least nine points and shot 5 for 15 from 3-point range in the second half.
Despite shooting just 65 percent (13 of 20) from the charity stripe in the game, Penn State made five of its six free throws in the final 6:30 to help the seal the deal.