BAYAMON, PUERTO RICO — Penn State needed overtime to beat the depleted Providence Friars 55-52 in the Nittany Lions’ second game in the Puerto Rico Tipoff tournament.
Tim Frazier scored 18 of his game-high 19 points in the second half and overtime. Jermaine Marshall scored 13 points, grabbed five rebounds and had three steals.
Poor shooting plagued both teams throughout. Penn State shot just 20 of 53 from the field and four of 21 from the three-point line. The Friars shot 15 of 44 from the field and 5 of 16 from behind the arc.
Providence dressed just five scholarship players because of injuries to Vincent Council and Bryce Cotton. The Friars played just six players in the game.
Kadeem Batts scored most of his team-high 17 points from the foul line where he hit 13 of 15 tries, including two makes that tied the game with 14 seconds left in regulation. Josh Fortune scored 15 points, had seven turnovers and played all 45 minutes.
The Nittany Lions trailed for most of the game and didn’t take a second-half lead until Frazier’s fast break layup with 3:17 left in regulation that gave Penn State a 38-37 lead. It was the team’s first lead since it led 7-6 with 11:27 left in the first half.
Both teams struggled offensively throughout. The Friars went into halftime with a 16-14 lead. The teams combined to make just 11 field goals in the first half.
But the second half and overtime belonged to both Frazier and Marshall. With his team trailing 35-31, Frazier scored nine straight points for the Nittany Lions, securing double figures for the 25th consecutive time.
Then, after Batts’ four straight free throws gave the Friars a 41-40 lead, Marshall came through with a three-pointer with just 46 seconds to play to put Penn State up 43-41.
After Batts made two more free throws and tied the game at 43 with 14 seconds left, D.J. Newbill passed to Marshall in the corner but his three-pointer missed.
In overtime, Penn State went on a 10-0 run after the Friars scored the extra frame’s first basket. The run included another three from Marshall, who went 3 of 12 from behind the arc.
On Sunday Penn State will face either Akron, who lost in the first round to Oklahoma State, or UNC Asheville, who lost to Tennessee. It will be Penn State’s last game of the tournament.