UNIVERSITY PARK — Eddie Odio found himself all alone in the middle of the paint when he elevated for a two handed dunk. The Boston College sophomore blew the dunk but somehow managed to get the offensive rebound and make a pass to a wide-open Joe Rahon who calmly drilled a 3-pointer.
It was that kind of night for Penn State (3-3), which fell to the Eagles (3-5) 73-61 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Nittany Lions were sluggish for nearly the game’s first 35 minutes, turning the ball over 10 times in the first half and lacking the defensive tenacity that had become its staple.
Jermaine Marshall led all scorers with 25 points. D.J. Newbill added 22 points. Ross Travis had career high 13 rebounds.
The Nittany Lions trailed the Eagles by 19 points with 5:22 left in the game before their defensive intensity finally kicked in.
“I think in the first half we played kind of timid,” said D.J. Newbill. “In the second half we were able to pick it up.”
Penn State went on a 14-0 run that spanned early two minutes, as its full-court pressure stifled the Eagles and forced several turnovers. But the deficit proved to be too much as Boston College pulled away behind 22 points from freshman Olivier Hanlan. Freshman Joe Rahon added 14 points.
“I was disappointed in the first 20 minutes but that last five minutes is what I’ll take away from that game,” said Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers.
However, Boston College was able to fight off the Nittany Lions attack.
“I thought for our young players to withstand that Penn State charge … I was just proud of my kids,” Boston College coach Steve Donahue said.
Penn State looked sluggish in the first half. Boston College moved the ball freely on the offensive end but missed several open shots.
The Nittany Lions also looked passive on the offensive end. The Eagles were content to sit back in a 2-3 zone for much of the half as Penn State’s passes probed the perimeter but didn’t penetrate the paint..
The first half was plagued by turnovers and missed shots by each team. Penn State had 10 turnovers to Boston College’s seven by intermission. Newbill had seven of Penn State’s 10 first-half turnovers.
Boston College controlled the first half, surrendering the game’s first basket to Jermaine Marshall but quickly seizing the momentum with a 10-0 run that was punctuated by a Ryan Anderson follow dunk with 14:03 remaining.
Newbill led all scorers with 12 points at halftime, while Boston College received points from seven different players in the frame.
Before the game, the team announced that Penn State sophomore forward Patrick Ackerman has been suspended from the team indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules.