Penn State outlasts St. John’s 89-82 in OT
NEW YORK (AP) – When Patrick Chambers became the men’s basketball coach at Penn State on June 6, 2011, he fervently believed the traditional football power could become a strong basketball program.
The Nittany Lions may be close to making Chambers’ vision a reality.
“We believe we’re headed in the right direction and we can accomplish what we want to,” Chambers said after Penn State topped St. John’s 89-82 in overtime of the second game of the Barclays Center Classic Friday night.
Tim Frazier scored 10 of his game-high 29 points in overtime. D.J. Newbill had 25 points, and Ross Travis and Brandon Taylor each had 10 points for Penn State, which improved to 6-1. The Nittany Lions will play Mississippi in the championship game of the two-day tournament today.
“It’s obviously a great win for our program,” Chambers said. “(But) we treat it like it’s the next game on our schedule. That has been our focus for three years (and) it remains our focus.”
D’Angelo Harrison led St. John’s with 20 points. Max Hooper added 15 points and Phil Greene IV chipped in with 14. St. John’s fell to 4-2. The Red Storm will meet Georgia Tech in the consolation game.
“It was an exhilarating game,” St. John’s coach Steve Lavin said. “Disappointing to lose in overtime, but a number of positive takeaways, elements that we can learn from.”
Penn State went into halftime with a 42-35 lead as they made exactly 50 percent of its shots from the field (14-for-18) and from 3-point range (7-for-14) in the opening 20 minutes. The Nittany Lions led by as much as 15 (62-47) following Allen Roberts’ made 3-pointer with 10:52 left. However, the Johnnies fought back and tied the game at 67-67, after Greene’s wing jumper with 3:12 left.
From that point, the teams exchanged momentum surges.
Trailing 71-67 with 1:27 left, Harrison was fouled while drilling a 3-pointer. He made the ensuing free throw, and his floater on St. John’s next possession gave the St. John’s its first lead since Chris Obekpa’s game-opening layup.
“Rallied from 15 down (with) the climax being the foul on D’Angelo’s 3-point shot and turned it into a four point play,” Lavin said.
The lead lasted for all of 40 seconds.
Frazier made three free throws after being fouled behind the three point line to give Penn State a 75-74 lead. Harrison drew St. John’s even with 2.5 seconds left in regulation when he made one-of-two free throws.
“We’d love to have the free throw back with two seconds to go,” Lavin said of Harrison’s miss.
Penn State outscored St. John’s 14-7 in the extra session. Twelve of Penn State’s 14 points came from the foul line, including 10 by Frazier.
“We played the whole 45 minutes,” Frazier said. “We come out and play hard for 40 minutes. It shows.”
Friday night’s matchup was the first between the Big 10 and Big East schools since Dec. 15, 1911. St. John’s won that game, 25-17.