University Park, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - D.J. Newbill netted 19 points and hit 8-of-10 from the free-throw line as the Penn State Nittany Lions edged out the Hampton Pirates, 69-65, in first-round action of the College Basketball Invitational at Bryce Jordan Center.
Brandon Taylor scored 14 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds for Penn State (16-17), which will advance to the second round of the tournament to face the Siena Saints. Tim Frazier chipped in 10 points with seven rebounds, and Geno Thorpe contributed 10 points of his own in the win.
Brian Darden scored a game-high 22 points for Hampton (18-13), and Deron Powers tallied 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. The Pirates shot 41.3 percent from the floor in the loss.
Penn State hit 37.5 percent of its field goal tries in the first half, and buried 5-of-12 from 3-point range to take a 33-25 lead into the intermission. Hampton shot just 36.4 percent from the field in the frame, and hit 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.
The Nittany Lions connected on 44.4 percent of their shot attempts in the second half, but missed all five tries from deep. Still, Penn State was able to get significant help from the free-throw line by hitting 20-of-27 from the charity stripe. The Pirates improved to 45.8 percent shooting in the period, but could only shave four points off of Penn State's first-half advantage.
Penn State held a 12-0 advantage in second chance points, and a distinct 42-18 edge in rebounding. Hampton won the battle in points off turnovers, 20-7.