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Wolfpack takes down Lions

Jermaine Marshall had 11 points in Penn State's 72-55 loss to N.C. State.

Penn State fell 72-55 to No. 6 N.C. State in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Thursday. The Wolfpack (2-0) shot 50 percent from both 2-point and 3-point range, led by as many as 25 points in the second half and had three players in double figures. The Nittany Lions (1-1) shot 32 percent and connected on just 3-of-19 3-point tries (16 percent). Penn State had nine of its 14 turnovers in the first half.

Top performers: Freshman forward T.J. Warren had 22 points off the bench for N.C. State on 9-of-12 shooting. Fellow freshman Rodney Purvis added 12 points and C.J. Leslie had 14 for the Wolfpack.

Penn State got 23 points from senior guard Tim Frazier, 14 of them in the second half. He added five rebounds and three assists but had four turnovers. Guards D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

What went right: Penn State held its own on the glass with the taller, more athletic Wolfpack (the Lions had 34 rebounds to N.C. State's 33; forward Jon Graham had 10 boards) and, for the most part, was solid in transition defense. Frazier and Newbill were able to get to the basket and Frazier got to the line, hitting 10-of-11 from the stripe.

What went wrong: The Nittany Lions had just four assists on 19 field goals. Movement without the ball as well as ball movement was stagnant for most of the game and the Nittany Lions could not connect on open jump shots when they did move the ball. Penn State was sloppy with the ball early on, allowing the Wolfpack to build a big lead, and had trouble recovering to find N.C. State's perimeter shooters. Forwards Jon Graham, Sasa Borovnjak and Brandon Taylor combined for only six points.

Summary: A very tough early-season draw for Patrick Chambers' team. The Nittany Lions were not sharp in any facet of the game but were likely out-matched by a very athletic N.C. State side even if they had played well. Once again, Penn State needs to find other sources of offense than Frazier, and needs to play headier defense as well as it heads into the weekend.

Up next: The Nittany Lions will play the loser of the Providence-Massachusetts matchup at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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