STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Jermaine Marshall scored 17 points and Penn State received strong second-half shooting from its guards to defeat Bucknell 60-57 Friday, handing the Bison their first loss of the season.
Freshman Brandon Taylor scored a career-high 16 points for the Nittany Lions (3-2), playing their first game without star point guard Tim Frazier, who is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.Penn State took its first lead of the game at the 10:57 mark of the second half. The Nittany Lions outscored Bucknell 44-35 in the second half after the Bison (5-1) took a 22-16 lead into the break.Penn State's defense buckled down late in the game as Bucknell mounted a comeback. A Cameron Ayers' 3-pointer with 9 seconds remaining cut the Nittany Lions' lead to two, then Marshall made the first of two free throws with 7 seconds left.Ayers, a junior guard, couldn't get an open look out of a timeout on the final play and missed a 3 from the corner as time expired.Senior guard Bryson Johnson led Bucknell with 18 points and center Mike Muscala collected 12 boards to go with 10 points.After struggling mightily on the offensive end in the first half, Penn State found its shooting touch after halftime. The Nittany Lions were just 5 of 31 from the floor in the first half, including 2 of 13 from 3-point territory, compared to 17-of-26 shooting after the break.Taylor got Penn State started with a pair of 3s on two of its first three possessions in the second half. Marshall began to heat up later in the period while catching a couple of lucky bounces in the process.The redshirt junior tossed up a 3 as the shot clock expired with a little more than 3 minutes remaining. The ball clanked off the rim three times before falling through the net to put the Nittany Lions ahead 55-48.Marshall's shot sent the crowd of 7,713 -- evenly mixed between Penn State blue and Bucknell orange -- into a frenzy.Muscala, who entered Friday leading the Bison with 17.2 points per game, was limited to just four shot attempts and finished 6 of 8 from the charity stripe.