Newbill’s buzzer-beater sends Penn State past Cornell
CHARLESTON, S.C. — D.J. Newbill saw the clock running out and knew the best chance he had for a Penn State win was a driving layup. Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers wouldn’t have expected anything less.
Newbill had 26 points, including the game-winning layup that went through right before time ran out to lift Penn State to a 72-71 victory at the Charleston Classic on Friday night.
“You know, that’s an older guy understanding the situation. Steal, down one, rip it, get to the basket, see what happens,” Chambers said of Newbill. “I’m so proud of him.”
Newbill had four 3-pointers and also added six rebounds, four steals and two assists for the Nittany Lions (3-1), who next face Southern Cal for fifth place in the eight-team tournament Sunday.
The Big Red (2-3) were up 71-70 with four seconds left but threw the inbounds pass into the backcourt to beat the five-second clock. Geno Thorpe picked it up and passed to Newbill on the left side. Newbill dribbled the baseline and went up for the winning shot before time ran out.
It was the first lead for Penn State (3-1) since going up 4-2 less than three minutes into the game.
Cornell coach Bill Courtney said the plan was for Shonn Miller to throw the ball long to Galal Cancer. But the senior guard got caught up in bodies and the ball sailed out of reach until Thorpe tracked it down and kicked it up to Newbill.
“Another couple of dribbles (by Thorpe) and time runs out,” Chambers said.
Officials took a look at the replay to make sure before declaring Penn State the winner.
John Johnson had 17 points, including a high arcing 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left that drew the Nittany Lions to 71-70.
Cancer and Robert Hatter had 17 points each for Cornell.
“It’s just unfortunate because our kids played so well,” Courtney said. “We just couldn’t get the ball inbounds.”
Penn State takes on Southern Cal for fifth.
It was a dramatic change of fortune for the Nittany Lions in Charleston. They rallied from 17 points down against Charlotte on Thursday night only to fall 106-97 in double overtime.
“Definitely come out and watch us play because we’re definitely going to entertain you,” Chambers said.
Cornell had already matched its win total from last season’s 2-26 campaign and came out seeking victory No. 3 against the Big Ten Conference opponent.
Things were tight until midway in the opening period when the Big Red broke out for a 14-2 run. Hatter made two 3-pointers while Dave LaMore and Miller had two baskets apiece.
When Miller hit a jumper with 5:11 left, Cornell led 31-18.
Penn State closed things to 33-26 on Newbill’s third 3-pointer of the period. But Devin Cherry had two foul shots and a layup down the stretch to send the Big Red to the locker room ahead 37-28.