STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Jermaine Marshall scored 17 points and Penn State received strong second-half shooting from its guards to defeat Bucknell 60-57 Friday, handing the Bison their first loss of the season.
Freshman Brandon Taylor scored a career-high 16 points for the Nittany Lions (3-2), playing their first game without star point guard Tim Frazier, who is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Penn State took its first lead of the game at the 10:57 mark of the second half. The Nittany Lions outscored Bucknell 44-35 in the second half after the Bison (5-1) took a 22-16 lead into the break.
Penn State's defense buckled down late in the game as Bucknell mounted a comeback. A Cameron Ayers' 3-pointer with 9 seconds remaining cut the Nittany Lions' lead to two, then Marshall made the first of two free throws with 7 seconds left.
Ayers, a junior guard, couldn't get an open look out of a timeout on the final play and missed a 3 from the corner as time expired.
After struggling mightily on the offensive end in the first half, Penn State found its shooting touch after halftime. The Nittany Lions were just 5 of 31 from the floor in the first half, including 2 of 13 from 3-point territory, compared to 17-of-26 shooting after the break.
Taylor got Penn State started with a pair of 3s on two of its first three possessions in the second half. Marshall began to heat up later in the period while catching a couple of lucky bounces in the process.
The redshirt junior tossed up a 3 as the shot clock expired with a little more than 3 minutes remaining. The ball clanked off the rim three times before falling through the net to put the Nittany Lions ahead 55-48.
Marshall's shot sent the crowd of 7,713 -- evenly mixed between Penn State blue and Bucknell orange -- into a frenzy.
Muscala, who entered Friday leading the Bison with 17.2 points per game, was limited to just four shot attempts and finished 6 of 8 from the charity stripe.