STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - Penn State guards Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) and D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) both posted career high scoring totals and combined to score 56 points on 60 percent shooting, but Penn State (8-9, 0-5 Big Ten) couldn't overcome No. 18 Michigan State (15-3; 4-1) Wednesday in the Bryce Jordan Center falling 81-72.
Penn State shot 55 percent in the second half and eclipsed the 70-point mark for the fifth time in the last seven home games, but couldn't overcome Spartan team that posted 52 second half points behind a strong performance from 6-10 junior Adreian Payne who came off the bench to score 20 second half points on 6-of-9 shooting and 7-of-10 from the foul line to lead the Spartans.
Marshall posted career highs of 29 points and 10 rebounds to record his first career double-double and lead Penn State in both categories. His combined point and rebound total (39) was the most by a Nittany Lion since Talor Battle posted 28 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Michigan in March of 2008. Newbill wasn't far behind posting a career high 27 points and a team high six assists. Marshall went 10-of-18 from the floor (3-7 from three) and Newbill 8-of-12 as the pair combined to shoot 18-of-30 and 17-of-23 from the foul line.
Penn State shot 48 percent (24-of-50) for the game, its best mark in Big Ten play on the season. The Nittany Lions tied their season low in turnovers with eight and out-scored the Spartans in the paint 36-32. Michigan State shot 47 percent (26-of-55) for the game and out-rebounded Penn State 33-30 while committing just seven turnovers, none in the second half. Five Spartans reached double-figures. Payne and freshman Branden Dawson did not start the game due to an incident Wednesday morning, but entered the game just over three minutes into the second half with Michigan State leading 35-31.
Penn State held the Spartans to just 29 first half points on 40 percent shooting with a tough 3-2 zone and a half court 1-2-2 press, but saw MSU shoot 53 percent in the second half led by Payne who scored 16 of 19 Michigan State points during a 19-8 Spartan run that saw Michigan State turn a one-point deficit to the Nittany Lions into a 10-point Spartan lead.
Michigan State grabbed the lead early in the first half going up 9-4 by the 15:47 mark. Newbill moved Penn State within three, 9-6, with two free throws, but a three-pointer by the Spartans had MSU leading by six, 12-6. Senior Nick Colella (New Castle, Pa.) fired back with a three of his own to close the gap to three, 12-9. Michigan State's lead grew to six, 15-9, but three points from Newbill and a bucket by senior Sasa Borovnjak (Belgrade, Serbia) had Penn State within one, 15-14, with 9:24 on the clock in the first half.
Despite a free throw from MSU's Keith Appling, a layup by sophomore Kevin Montminy (Centre Hall, Pa.) had the score knotted at 16-16 with the clock at 6:42. Michigan State regained the lead with four straight points, 20-16. However, Gary Harris fouled Marshall who went 3-for-3 at the line to push Penn State within one, 20-19.
The squads traded baskets with buckets by Travis and Marshall keeping the Lions a threat. With PSU down by one, 24-23, Travis Trice sank a three to give Michigan State a four-point lead, 27-23, with 2:01 left in the half. Newbill scored on a layup before a basket from the Spartans closed out the first half with Michigan State leading, 29-25.
Marshall, who scored 22 of his points in the second half, opened the second perioed with a three-pointer pushing the Lions within one, 29-28, less than 15 seconds into the half. Despite a layup by Michigan State, a three from Colella had the score tied at 31-31. Back-to-back baskets from the Spartans had the Lions down by four, 35-31, but five points from Marshall gave Penn State a slim 36-35 edge at the 15:16 mark.
Payne took over scoring the next eight straight points for the Spartans. Borovnjak hit 2-of-2 at the foul line to once again put the Lions within one, 39-38. The Nittany Lions remained within three points for the next two minutes before a Travis Trice trifecta pushed MSU ahead by five, 46-41.
Payne scored every point in an 8-0 Michigan State run converting a three point play and making a three in the process to push the Spartan lead into double-digits, 54-44, with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Penn State closed the gap to eight, twice, but five consecutive points by the Spartans increased their lead to 13, 61-48, by the 7:50 mark. Michigan State's lead grew to 16, 70-54, following a pair of Payne free throws with a little more than five minutes on the clock.
Penn State didn't give up and embarked on a 12-1 run to cut Michigan State's lead to five, 71-66, by the 2:06 mark. Marshall and Newbill had five points each during the run. Derrick Nix scored on a layup to give Michigan State some more breathing room, but another bucket by Marshall had Penn State back within give, 73-68, with 1:27 to play.
In the final minute, Michigan State visited the foul line four times going 7-for-8 to reach 81 points and fend off the Lions. Newbill scored two on a layup and was 2-for-2 at the line to help Penn State finish the game with 72.
--PSU Athletic Communications--