By Tim Owen
For The Daily Item
STATE COLLEGE -- Following Bucknell's 90-80 shootout win over Penn State, opposing head coach Patrick Chambers called the Bucknell a "buzz saw."
Only twice last season Penn State scored 80 or more points in regulation. Both efforts resulted in victories. That was not the case after Wednesday's game in the Bryce Jordan Center. In other words, the Nittany Lions head coach said there seemed to be no answer for Bucknell, who was rebounding after a tough loss to Stanford on Saturday.
Penn State secured a lead at halftime, but in a game that featured nine different lead changes and six ties, it was an energy-draining night for both team's
"It wore out the coaches, I know that," Bison head coach Dave Paulsen said. "I think both teams were trying to defend really hard and (the high score) wasn't for a lack of effort on either parts. This game was played on a really high level tonight."
Penn State junior guard D.J. Nebwill opened the game with a 3-point shot before senior Ben Brackney fired back with a 3-pointer for Bucknell. The back-and-forth seemed to be a precursor for the first half. Penn State jumped out to an early lead as they nailed 10 of their first 11 shots. But Bucknell wouldn't back off as it continued to match Penn State's pace nearly shot-for-shot.
That was especially true for Ben Brackney. Through the first 10 minutes, the senior guard was 4-for-4 from the arc, and his teammates out-rebounded Penn State during the first 20 minutes. Their early effort helped the Bison tie the game 26-all with eight minutes left in the first half. Then Penn State reeled off a 15-point scoring run to take a 41-36 lead into halftime, thanks in large part to Penn State star senior Tim Frazier, who who tallied nine points, four assists and two steals in his first 13 minutes of play.