A big Hampton University comeback went for naught as Penn State escaped with a 69-65 victory in the College Basketball Invitational first round in University Park, Pa.
Guard Deron Powers of Williamsburg, who finished with 19 points, led HU’s second-half rally from a 10-point deficit.
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 throwto keep the Nittany Lions in command.
In the first 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. But Pirates stayed close as guard Brian Darden — a Phoebus High product — hit his first four 3-point attempts, scoring 15 of his game-high 22 points in the first half.
HU (18-13) was hurt because its top scorer and rebounder for the season, Du’Vaughn Maxwell, picked up two fouls in the first four minutes and sat the rest of the first half. Without him for much of the game, the Pirates were dominated on the boards, 41-18, 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). ...
Radford, after traveling across the country, never trailed in a 96-92 victory at Oregon State in Corvallis.
Ya Ya Anderson scored 23 points for Radford, which shot 57 percent (37-for-65), including 54 percent (13-of-24) from behind the arc. Javonte Green and R.J. Price had 20 points apiece, and Green sank a clinching free throw in the final seconds.
The triumph earned the Highlanders (22-12) the right to play at Old Dominion in a quarterfinal Monday. They led by scores such as 11-2, 20-9 and 50-35. Each time Oregon State got back into contention, Radford answered.
The Beavers, coached by Craig Robinson -- the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama -- finished 16-16. Roberto Nelson scored 26 points and Eric Moreland and Hallice Cooke added 23 apiece for OSU. Moreland grabbed 11 rebounds.
OSU shot 59 percent (36-of-61) but only hit six 3-pointers.
Guard Four McGlynn hit a 3-pointer from just beyond halfcourt as time expired to give Towson a stunning 63-60 victory at South Carolina Upstate in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament’s first round and cap off a wild final seven seconds in Spartanburg.
Tigers forward Jerrelle Benimon hit a layup with 6.7 seconds remaining to give the Tigers a 60-58 lead, but after a timeout, Spartans guard Ty Greene went coast-to-coast to tie the game with 1.8 left. Towson (24-10) got the ball to McGlynn, who released the ball just before time expired.
It was a brutal way to end the season for USC Upstate (19-15), making its first Division I postseason appearance. The officials reviewed the shot on a TV monitor to confirm the ball left McGlynn’s hands in time, sending the Tigers onto the second round.
Benimon’s 20 points and nine rebounds led the Tigers. Forward Marcus Damas and guard Mike Burwell each added 11. McGlynn, who proved to be the hero, was 2-for-8 from the floor before that desperation heave.
The Tigers, making their first postseason appearance since 1991, trailed 39-26 at intermission, but scored the first 11 points of the second half to get back in the game. Towson took the lead for the first time on a layup by swingman Rafriel Guthrie with 8:33 to play, and no team led by more than three points the rest of the way.
Forward Jodd Maxey scored 15 points to lead the Spartans.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun