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Penn State men hold off LaSalle in A10/Big 10 match up

UNIVERSITY PARK – LaSalle and Penn State met up Tuesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center in a match up between the Big 10 and Atlantic 10.

It was a good litmus test for the Nittany Lions as they battled last year’s Sweet 16 team in the Explorers. After a back and forth contest with numerous lead changes, it was Penn State that would pick up the victory 79-72.

Things started out fast for the Lions as sharp shooting Donovon Jack blistered two consecutive triples and his teammates found the inside to their liking, going up 10-5.

However, a 11-2 run by the Explorers put the visitors ontop for most of the first half.

The Lions stayed within striking distance of LaSalle, never trailing by more than six. With just minutes left to go in the half, Tim Frazier and company came alive offensively, cutting into the Explorers lead and even took a 38-34 lead with 3:55 left in the half.

LaSalle’s defense came alive down the first half stretch, not only taking back the lead but holding Penn State to only three points in the last two and half minutes.

When the buzzer sounded ending the first half, LaSalle held onto a slim 42-40 lead.

Donovon Jack and D.J. Newbill both tallied double-digit first half, both with 10 while Frazier had seven.

Both teams came out of the intermission like a house of fire, combining for four triples in just the first four minutes as the Lions were able to tie the contest at 52 with 15 minutes left.

It would be a battle of who had the hot hand last as Penn State took back the lead after a small run by the Explorers with 10 minutes left and expanded its lead to 61-56 thanks to a triple by Jack with 9:33 left.

Penn State took over on the boards and outhustled the Explorers not allowing any open looks when they were on defense.

Penn State had five players in double figures on the night as Jack, Ross Travis, Newbill, Brandon Taylor all hit the double-digit mark with 3:27 still left to play in the contest as Frazier was the last to make the list.

The Lions built up a 9-point lead going into the final minutes.

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