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Penn State 69, Hampton 65

The SportsXchange

Penn State blew a 10-point, second-half lead but still managed to defeat Hampton 69-65 in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational on Wednesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa.

Junior guard D.J. Newbill led the Nittany Lions (16-17) with 19 points. Forward Brandon Taylor added 14 points and nine rebounds for Penn State, which advances to a Monday quarterfinal against Siena (16-17) of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

With Penn State leading 47-45 and less than eight minutes left, Nittany Lions freshman guard Geno Thorpe scored four points in an 8-0 run. Then Newbill, who had a dunk during the run, was clutch in the final minute, hitting a jumper and a free throw to keep the Nittany Lions in command.

In the first-ever meeting between the teams, Penn State led most of the way after Nittany Lions guards Tim Frazier and Newbill opened the game with 3-pointers. However, the Pirates stayed close, as guard Brian Darden hit his first four 3-point attempts, scoring 15 of his game-high 22 points in the first half.

Guard Deron Powers, who finished with 19 points, led the Hampton comeback in the second half.

Hampton (18-13) was hurt by foul trouble that plagued top scorer and rebounder Du'Vaughn Maxwell, who picked up two fouls in the first four minutes and sat the rest of the first half. Without their senior forward for much of the game, the Pirates were dominated on the boards, 41-18, finishing with just one offensive rebound. Maxwell finished with six points and one rebound.

Also contributing to Penn State's rebounding edge were Frazier (10 points, seven rebounds) and reserve forward Ross Travis (six points, eight rebounds).
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