STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Donovan Jack scored a career-high 18 points to lead all scorers and pace Penn State to a 79-72 win over LaSalle Tuesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State (3-1) got double-digit scoring from five players as it pulled away in the second half. Brandon Taylor, D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier scored 15 each. Ross Travis added 13 and Frazier added 11 assists for the double-double.
Penn State was especially efficient, dishing 18 assists and turning the ball over just eight times.
Jack put Penn State in front with a bucket midway through the half. Then, 30 seconds later, he helped the Nittany Lions pad the lead to 61-56 with a 3-pointer from the top of the circle. They wouldn't trail again.
LaSalle (2-2) rallied to within a point over the next three minutes, cutting the lead to 61-60 with 7:58 to go.
But out of a timeout, Newbill drove to the bucket, was fouled and the ball went in. He made the foul shot to extend the lead to 64-60.
Penn State then ratcheted up its defense. Off a turnover, Brandon Taylor hit a 3-pointer and Travis followed with a driving layup to push the Nittany Lion advantage to 69-60 with 4:14 to go.
Penn State pushed the lead to 11 with 3:36 to go as Newbill and Frazier each scored 6 points to fuel a 17-4 run for the Nittany Lions.
Garland tried to pull LaSalle back to within striking distance as he scored 8 of the Explorers' final 12 points.
For LaSalle, a Sweet 16 team a year ago, four players scored in double figures. Tyrone Garland led the way with 18 points. Tyreek Duren added 16, Steve Jack 12 and Jerrell Wright 10 for the Explorers.
Taylor and Travis led Penn State with eight rebounds each. The Explorers got 10 rebounds each from Wright and Jack.