Dynamite Offense Fuels PSU Win

Behind Taylor, Newbill and Travis, the Nittany Lions blow out Longwood at the Jordan Center.

Star guard Tim Frazier wasn't his typical high-scoring self when Penn State faced Longwood in a Sunday matinee at the Jordan Center. And the Nittany Lions offered a sloppy opening half.

But a delivery of TNT led to a 56-point second-half explosion as PSU easily dispatched the Big South opponent, 93-67.

That's “T” as in forward Brandon Taylor, “N” as in guard D.J. Newbill and “T” as in forward Ross Travis. The trio combined for 59 points, 25 rebounds and 12 assists as Penn State improved to 4-1 on the season.

The Lancers fell to 2-3.

“You can't be just one or two guys,” said Newbill, who tallied 23 points to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists. “All five guys have to come ready to play every day. That's the beauty of our team. … The depth has really picked up.”

Taylor posted a career-high 25 points on the strength of a 5-of-9 effort from the arc. Travis had a double-double early in the second half, and finished with a career-high 13 rebounds to go along with 11 points.

Longwood used a zone defense that allowed multiple men to hedge toward Frazier. He came in averaging 20.5 points and more than 13 shots per game. Yet he didn't force anything on this afternoon. He took only six shots (making four) and finished with eight assists.

“When have you ever seen your best player take only six shots and continue to look for others?” third-year coach Pat Chambers asked his team after the game. “He took good shots. He didn't force anything. To me, that's a big-time leader.”

“That's how much of a great player he is,” Newbill added. “He can impact a game without even scoring.”

Penn State did not play particularly well in the first half Sunday. The Lions had nine turnovers and made only one of eight 3-pointers. But they played hard, led by Travis' six points and nine boards, and still managed to take a 37-27 lead into the locker room.

“It was nice for me to see that we could still play hard without making shots,” Chambers said.

The made shots would come in the second half. The team was 1 of 13 from the arc at one point, but then Taylor found his range. He bombed in four treys, including one from NBA distance.

“For this team to be good, I'm going to have to knock down shots when Tim and D.J. penetrate into the gaps,” Taylor said.

His shooting opened things up inside for the slashing Newbill, who went 7 of 10 from the floor and 8 of 11 from the stripe. He was a physical mismatch for the Lancer guards, too, with five offensive rebounds.

“Our offense is clicking right now, we're hitting shots,” Newbill said. “Our offensive spacing is beautiful right now.”

According to first-year Lancer coach Jayson Gee, the key to Penn State's offense is the ability of big men like Taylor to hit 3-pointers.

“I don't know how Big Ten defenders are going to come out and defend that,” he said. “On a hot (shooting) night, I think they can beat anybody.”

They obviously could beat Longwood, as the second-half margin grew as wide as 30 (85-55) before Chambers cleared his bench with three minutes remaining. But it is difficult to gauge just how good the Lancers are. Their resume includes an 82-79 win at TCU. But it also features an 81-69 home loss to Brown.

Chambers is just happy to see different players stepping up in different games. If someone is a bit off, someone else may be a bit more on.

In other words, you never know who might explode.

“As you can see, the confidence is building in each guy,” Chambers said.


• Freshman center Julian Moore saw his most action of the season. In 19 minutes he had six rebounds, four points and a steal.

• Sophomore forward Donovan Jack, who went off for a career-high 18 points vs. La Salle last week, was limited to two points in 11 minutes due to foul trouble this time around.

• Freshman guard Graham Woodward played 14 minutes, finishing with seven points (he was 2 of 3 on triples).

• Guard Isaac Belton led Longwood with 17 off the bench.

• With students gone for Thanksgiving break, the crowd was listed at only 4,261.

• Speaking of small crowds … Penn State plays host to Monmouth at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The game can been seen on BTN.

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