Boston College holds off furious Penn State rally

D.J. Newbill (left) scored 22 points to lead a stirring rally, but Penn State came up short against Patrick Heckmann (right) and the Eagles.
D.J. Newbill (left) scored 22 points to lead a stirring rally, but Penn State came up short against Patrick Heckmann (right) and the Eagles.
abby drey/associated press

BC 73
Penn State 61

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Freshman Olivier Hanlan scored 22 points and Boston College withstood a furious late-game rally to beat Penn State, 73-61, Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The Eagles (3-4) led by 20 with 6:21 left before an 18-1 run got Penn State (3-3) within 60-57 with 3:05 left, led by Jermaine Marshall (25 points) and D.J. Newbill (22).

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Hanlan’s 3-point play on a jumper in the lane ended the spurt, and Andrew Van Nest’s open layup gave Boston College a 65-59 lead with 1:52 left.

Joe Rahon added 14 points for BC, which built its big lead off a run of 3-point shooting in the second half and defensive lapses in the lane by Penn State.

But the young Eagles, who start three sophomores and two freshmen, nearly let it slip away down the stretch.

Hanlan finished 15 of 19 from the foul line.

Many of those clutch shots came in the waning minutes.

Marshall and Newbill scored all of Penn State’s points during the late run by forcing turnovers and attacking the basket. Marshall’s 3-pointer with 3:39 riled up the Jordan Center crowd before Newbill went 1 of 2 from the line to get within 3.

But Hanlan and Rahon — both freshmen — settled BC down at the line, and Penn State lost its best offensive weapon after Newbill fouled out with 1:11 left trailing by 6.

Penn State played its second game without leading scorer and point guard Tim Frazier, who is out for the year with a left Achilles’ injury. Until the late spurt, the Nittany Lions looked out of rhythm with the ball, especially in a first half with 10 turnovers.

The Eagles were stunned in their last outing, 56-54, at home by Bryant — a program that had just moved up to Division 1 four years ago and had lost its four previous meetings to BC.

They found the perfect opponent to get over that upset in Penn State.