Newbill’s 22 points lead Penn State past USC
CHARLESTON, S.C. — If Penn State wanted to close the Charleston Classic with a victory, coach Pat Chambers knew D.J. Newbill would have to make the biggest plays.
Newbill came through with 16 of his 22 points in the second half in the Nittany Lions’ 63-61 win over Southern Cal in Sunday’s fifth-place game.
“I gave him the ball,” Chambers said. “I said: ‘If we’re going down, we’re going down with you.’ ”
Newbill finished the three games with 83 points to set the tournament scoring mark, surpassing the 78 scored by St. Joseph’s Carl Jones in 2011.
Penn State opened 4-1 for the third time in Chambers’ four seasons.
After the Trojans (2-3) built a 49-43 lead with just less than 10 minutes left, Newbill scored 10 of Penn State’s next 13 points in their go-ahead run. His second 3-pointer put the Nittany Lions ahead to stay at 56-54.
Penn State, though, had to survive a wild ending.
Brandon Taylor had the chance to ice things but missed both foul shots to keep Southern Cal within 60-57 with eight seconds left. But as Jordan McLaughlin streaked down court, Newbill reached out for the quick foul to stop any tying 3-point attempt.
“I figured that was the right amount of time left to do that,” Chambers said.
Southern Cal still was within 62-60 on Jordan McLaughlin’s foul shot with 1.3 seconds left. But Shep Garner made a foul shot with 0.7 seconds left to provide the final point.
Katin Reinhardt led Southern Cal with 14 points.
It was the third nail-biting finish for the Nittany Lions in as many tournament games after a double-overtime loss to Charlotte on Thursday and a buzzer-beating win over Cornell on Friday.
And Newbill was in the middle of each game.
He had 35 points on Thursday night as Penn State rallied from 17 points down to force overtime against Charlotte. The Nittany Lions eventually lost 106-97 in double overtime, although Newbill’s attempt to break a tie in the final moments of the first extra session was blocked at the last second.
The 35 points, though, were the most of any Big Ten player this season.
Newbill followed that with a last-second layup to beat Cornell, 72-71, on Friday night.
Against Southern Cal, Penn State hit six of its first 10 shots — including a pair of 3-pointers by Garner — to lead the Trojans, 15-2.
When Southern Cal followed with a 21-5 run to move in front, Garner answered with a tying 3 as part of Penn State’s 11-7 charge to the half. Newbill hit a jumper as the half ran out to put his team ahead 31-30 at the break.
Southern Cal coach Andy Enfield said his team missed too many easy shots for it not to cost them against a quality team like Penn State. Forwards Strajhinj Gavrilovic, Nikola Jovanovic and Darion Clark were a combined 7 of 25.
“You shoot 28 percent on lane shots, it’s not too good,” Enfield said. “Our guards had open shots. We just missed them.”