* Courtesy of Penn State Sports Information
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; DEC. 23, 2012 - Penn State (7-4) will go to the holiday break happy after jumping out quickly on New Hampshire (4-7) Sunday morning and cruising home to a 72-45 victory in the Bryce Jordan Center. The 27-point win marked the team's largest margin of victory in two seasons under coach Patrick Chambers as the Lions broke 70 points for the third straight game and won their third straight as they continued to shoot the ball at a solid clip. The Nittany Lions will get a couple of days of for Christmas before returning to action on Dec. 29 in a Saturday home tip against Duquesne.
Penn State, which had four players reach double-figures for the second time on the season, was led by redshirt junior Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) who tallied 15 points, three assists and a career high five steals. Senior Sasa Borovnjak (Belgrade, Serbia) added 11 points, while freshman Brandon Taylor (Tabernacle, N.J.) and redshirt sophomore D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) had 10 points apiece. Newbill and sophomore Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) led the Lions in rebounds with six each. Senior Nick Colella (New Castle, Pa.) had career bests with three steals and three assists as he and Marshall collected all eight of the Lions steals and helped Penn State to a 23-2 scoring advantage off turnovers.
Penn State was a hot 16-for-29 (.552) in the first half and shot 46 percent for the game as the Lions have recorded their best four shooting performances of the year in their last four games. Penn State outscored the Wildcats 22-14 in the paint and out-rebounded UNH 40-34 while holding the Wildcats to season lows in scoring and shooting as UNH managed to hit just 17 percent in the first half and 22 percent for the game. No Wildcat player reached double-digit scoring as UNH was led by nine points each from Ferg Myrick and Scott Morris.
The Nittany Lions opened the game with a 12-3 run with four points from Borovnjak and three each from Taylor and Marshall. A jumper from UNH's Ferg Myrick and a free throw ended the early PSU run and had the Wildcats within six, 12-6. Penn State responded with a 12-0 run, including two consecutive three-pointers from Taylor and Colella to build a 24-6 lead with 8:50 on the clock.
Myrick again ended the run with a basket, but the Nittany Lions continued their strong offensive showing with 10 straight points with buckets from Borovnjak, freshman Donovon Jack (Reading, Pa.), redshirt sophomore Jon Graham (Baltimore, Ma.) and Newbill. After a scoreless two and a half minutes, the Wildcats scored on a layup, but a Taylor jumper kept Penn State comfortably ahead, 36-10.
The Nittany Lions allowed the Wildcats four more points before the clock ran out on the first half. A bucket by Taylor and a Newbill free throw had Penn State with a 39-14 lead heading into halftime.
The Wildcats scored the first five points in the second half to close the gap to 20, 39-19, but a 7-2 PSU run had Penn State leading by 25, 46-21. The Nittany Lions maintained at least a 22 point lead for the next four minutes before free throws from Newbill and Borovnjak had Penn State's lead at 30, 58-28, with 11:15 remaining in the game.
Penn State reached its largest lead of the game with five straight points to build a strong 34-point advantage, 69-35.
Sophomore Kevin Montminy (Centre Hall, Pa.) nailed a trifecta with 42 seconds on the clock to push Penn State past the 70-point mark, 72-43, and send the crowd cheering as they all received free Big Macs for the third straight game.