Austin Lederman (@austinlederman)
In a game that went to overtime, Penn State (2-1) was led by Tim Frazier to beat the Providence Friars (2-2) by a score of 55-52 Friday night in Puerto Rico.
In a game in which both teams shot a combined 35-of-99, the game was won by forcing turnovers that led to points for the Nittany Lions.
Frazier had an offensive put-back with 3:48 to go in the game and then scored on a wide-open, fast-break layup after the Friars committed a turnover to give Penn State its first lead of the game since a 7-6 lead with 11:27 remaining in the first half.
Jermaine Marshall knocked down a three pointer with 44 seconds left to give Penn State a 43-41 lead.
Kadeem Batts knocked down two free throws to tie the game for the Friars with 14.6 seconds to go in the contest.
Jermaine Marshall had a chance to play hero this game with a baseline 3-pointer to win the game, but it bounced off the rim leading to overtime.
Providence opened up the overtime period with a Josh Fortune jumper to give them a 45-43 lead, but D.J. Newbill answered right back with an elbow jumper to tie the game.
Marshall hit another key 3-pointer with 3:26 to go in the extra period to give Penn State a 3-point lead.
An offensive rebound by Newbill with 1:30 left gave the Nittany Lions another possession, which led to a Ross Travis put-back layup to give Penn State a five point lead.
Do-it-all guard Frazier, who ended up with 19 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and four steals once again led Penn State. Helping out the Preseason All-Big 10 team member was Marshall who struggled from the field (4-of-18) but hit two key treys to help Penn State beat the Friars. He ended up with 13 points, five rebounds, and three steals.
Newbill also contributed for the Nittany Lions, scoring nine points (3-of-5), grabbing six rebounds, and dishing out three assists.
Head coach for the Friars, Ed Cooley, played only six players in the contest. Batts led the Friars with a double-double, notching 17 points and 11 rebounds. He struggled from the field (2-of-12) but got to the line often and converted at a high clip (13-of-15). Freshman Josh Fortune scored 15 points, grabbed four rebounds, but also coughed up seven of the 20 turnovers that the Friars committed.
Penn State shot only 19 percent (4-of-21) from behind the three-point line, and struggled from the free throw line, converting on only 57.9 percent (11-of-19) of their attempts.
The shooting woes continued for Penn State in this game, but gritty defense, key shots, and leadership from Frazier gutted out a victory late in the contest. Penn State’s next game will be against the winner of Akron and UNC Asheville Sunday in its final game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament.