UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The University of Pennsylvania men's basketball kept trying and trying, but the Quakers could not come back on Penn State Saturday afternoon and fell to the Nittany Lions, 58-47, at the Bryce Jordan Center.
With the loss, Penn falls to 2-6 overall while Penn State improves to 4-3.
Penn held a 9-6 lead with a little more than 12 minutes left in the first half, but PSU ran off the next eight points and never trailed again. That said, the Red and Blue kept hanging around until the final minutes.
Penn State was up, 49-39, with five minutes to play when the Quakers made their final move. First Fran Dougherty was set up by Henry Brooks for a layup, then Jamal Lewis got a steal and brought the ball all the way down for another layup. Following a PSU turnover, Dougherty was fouled. He hit the first of two shots, making the score 49-44 with just over three minutes to play.
That would be as close as the Quakers got. Ross Travis was fouled by Dougherty and hit one of two freebies. Tony Hicks -- who had a strong second half -- drove to the right baseline and fired up a midrange jumper that missed the mark. Then Penn State had a critical possession, as Nick Colella missed a three-point attempt but got his own rebound. That led to Jermaine Marshall getting fouled by Brooks and hitting both shots, making the score 52-44 with 2:12 left.
Penn brought the ball down, and Miles Cartwright attempted to get into the lane to force something. Instead, he was stripped by Marshall, who was collared by Lewis as he went up for the layup at the other end. Lewis was called for a flagrant foul and ejected; Marshall hit his two shots; and PSU got the ball back and got a layup and foul by D.J. Newbill. Suddenly it was 56-44, and this game was over.
Hicks finished the game with 10 points, the only Penn player to score in double figures. He also provided arguably the highlight of the season when he drove the baseline and dunked on one of Penn State's big men with just over 11 minutes to play. Lewis finished with eight points, while Dougherty saw his double-figure scoring streak end at six as he had seven points to go with a team-high seven boards.
Penn struggled on offense against Penn State's zone, shooting 18-of-51 from the field including just 5-of-23 on three-pointers. The Quakers also committed 16 turnovers, which Penn State turned into 14 points. The Nittany Lions also enjoyed a substantial edge at the foul line, going 17-of-23 from the charity stripe compared to Penn's 6-of-10.
Marshall led PSU with 18 points, while Newbill had 13 and Brandon Taylor scored 11. Travis finished with seven points and a game-high eight boards.
Penn is off until next Saturday, when the Quakers host Villanova in their first Philadelphia Big 5 game of the 2012-13 season. The Quakers and Wildcats will tip off at 8 p.m. from The Palestra in a game that will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
Postgame Notes: Penn fell to 31-16 all-time to Penn State, and 47-49 against programs that currently compete in the Big Ten Conference ... Penn scored 47 points, its lowest total in a game since a 60-45 loss to Temple on Jan. 13, 2010 ...For the second time in three games, Penn's bench scoring topped its starter scoring (24-23) ... Freshman guard Tony Hicks had 10 points, his second double-figure scoring game at Penn ... Hicks was the team's leading scorer in the game, the first time this season a player other than juniors Fran Dougherty or Miles Cartwright led the team in that category ... Dougherty had seven rebounds to lead Penn; he has led the Quakers in that category in every game this season ... Freshman guard Jamal Lewis matched a season/career high with eight points ... Sophomore guard Camryn Crocker set a season high and tied a career best with three rebounds as he played a career-high 27 minutes ... Junior guard Dau Jok had five points, giving him 19 in the last three contests; prior to that, he had 11 for his career.