Penn State rallies past Akron behind Newbill’s 26 points |

Penn State rallies past Akron behind Newbill’s 26 points

The Associated Press

UNIVERSITY PARK — D.J. Newbill scored 26 points, Penn State outscored Akron by 19 points in the second half and the Nittany Lions defeated the Zips, 78-72, Tuesday night.

Brandon Taylor was 4 of 11 from 3-point range and added 14 for the Lions, who trailed 45-32 at the half. Shaler product Geno Thorpe scored 10 points.

Penn State (5-1) opened the second half by holding Akron (3-2) scoreless for 6:19 and built a 47-45 lead off a 15-0 run.

Deji Ibitayo scored 17 points and Noah Robotham 16 for the Zips, but Akron’s second-half shooting woes opened the door for the Nittany Lions.

The Zips, who shot 58.6 percent from the field in the first half, went 6 of 29 in the second half. Penn State was 14 of 22.

The Zips trailed 72-65 before Robotham and Ibitayo closed the gap to 73-70.

Penn State inbounded the ball with 16 seconds remaining leading 74-72 when Newbill went to the line and extended the lead to four.

Taylor blocked a shot and John Johnson picked up the ball and raced the length of the court to set the final six-point margin.

The game was the fourth in six days for each team. The Zips placed third in the Charleston Classic while Penn State placed fifth; they did not face each other there.

The Zips, who had forced 60 turnovers and scored 72 points off them in four games, upped those totals to 67 and 83 in the first half alone while building their 13-point advantage.

But Penn State took advantage of the Zips’ 0-for-9 cold spell. Thorpe scored six and Taylor sank back-to-back 3-pointers to give Penn State its first lead.

Robotham helped the Zips recover with a 3-pointer and a layup, and Ibitayo’s two free throws gave Akron a 52-48 lead.

But the Zips committed eight fouls in the opening 9 minutes of the second half, and Newbill and Donovon Jack each made to foul shots to tie it at 52-52.

Both teams went cold for about 90 seconds but a Newbill bucket, a fast break by Johnson off a Jack steal, and Jack’s slam off an assist from Newbill put the Lions back up, 58-54, at the 8:26 mark.

A Ross Travis layup and a long-range 3 from Newbill extended Penn State’s lead to 63-57.

Ibitayo and Robotham delivered from the foul line to pull within 64-62 but a nifty crossover dribble by Newbill resulted in an easy layup and Johnson did the same on a fast break to stake Penn State to a 70-62 lead with just under 3 minutes left.

Akron jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game. Ibitayo, Pat Forsythe and Nyles Evans each sank baskets from under the rim as the Zips held Penn State to one point over a 3-minute span and broke out to a 32-18 advantage.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.