Lions Beat LIU, Move to 3-0

The Nittany Lion basketball team put together a solid 40 minutes of basketball to beat Long Island University 80-64 and improve to 3-0 Saturday afternoon.

Geary Claxton shook off a shaky first half to score a game-high 21 points and senior forward Travis Parker posted his third career double-double with 18 points and a career-high-tying 11 rebounds.

Penn State led most of the way, although LIU did go in front 27-26 with 4:10 remaining in the first half on a 3-pointer from Randy Jones. The Blackbirds were able to stay in the game by shooting the treys, finishing the game with 11 treys, nine more than Penn State scored.

Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis was pleased with his team's overall effort, though.

"We shared the ball pretty well and the guys did a good job getting the ball inside," DeChellis said.

The Nittany Lions outscored LIU 50-24 in the pain and dominated the boards, grabbing 41 rebounds to LIU's 26.

Claxton shot just 4-for-13 from the field in the first half but connected on five of his eight shots in the second half.

"I struggled with my shooting in the first half, but the guys really picked me up and said to just keep shooting," Claxton explained. "I just gotta stay up and keep playing."

Penn State enjoyed a significant advantage at the free throw line as well, making 12 of 20 shots while LIU was just one of two.

Penn State was a little banged up going into the game and both Mike Walker (ankle injury) and Jamelle Cornley (bruised calf) saw limited action with Walker playing 18 minutes and Cornley 16. Penn State also lost Nikola Obradovic to a back injury suffered in pregame shooting practice. According to DeChellis, Obradovic "just tweaked it (his back) and couldn't go."

DeChellis credited Parker for playing his best game of the year.

"He just played strong, tough basketball and he communicated really well," DeChellis explained.

"He demanded the ball inside and just played strong."

Parker says he is trying to not worry so much and just enjoy playing the game.

"I just had fun and got in the flow today," Parker said. "I definitely struggled in the first two games, but I just need to quit worrying so much and just go have some fun."

Parker also says Penn State's 3-0 start is attributable to the team mentality of this year's squad.

"This is by far the most unselfish team since I've been here," Parker said. "Nobody cares about scoring, just about winning."

To buttress Parker's point, the Nittany Lions had 23 assists and 13 turnovers. It marked the second straight game PSU has topped 20 assists. Ben Luber had 8 assists and 4 turnovers and finished with 6 points. Rounding out the scoring for PSU, Cornley had 11 points, Brand Hassell had 7, DAvid Jackson had 6, Milos Bogetic had 5, Mike Walker 4 and Maxwell DuBois 2.

DeChellis says the 3-0 start gives Penn State "a tremendous opportunity" Tuesday night when Clemson visits the Jordan Center as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.


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