Billups scores 23, Jackson 22 to lead VCU past Penn State to get 86-74 win in ESPN tourney #Billups #scores #Jackson #lead #VCU #Penn #State #win #ESPN #tourney

KISSIMMEE, Fla (AP) — Alphonzo Billups III scored a career-high 23 points, Zeb Jackson added 22 and VCU turned back Penn State 86-74 in the seventh-place game at the ESPN Events Invitational on Sunday.

The Rams went 7 of 11 from 3-point range and 9 of 11 from the foul line in the second half to secure the win. Billups hit all five of his shots, including four 3-pointers, scoring 14 points after the break.

Max Shulga made all 10 of his free throws and scored 19 points for the Rams (4-3) and Toibu Lawal added 11. Michael Belle had nine rebounds and Jackson seven with six assists.

With Billups making a career best fives 3s with just one miss, VCU was 8 of 15 behind the arc and shot 54% overall.

Ace Baldwin Jr. scored 17 points with five assists for the Nittany Lions (4-3), who arrived at the tournament undefeated but lost three times by double figures. Qudus Wahab added 14 points and D’Marco Dunn 11. Dunn was 3 for 3 from distance and scored all 11 points in the first half but Penn State finished 5 of 17 behind the arc.

Lawal made a layup and Jackson a 3-pointer to put VCU ahead for good, 62-57, midway through the second half. Jackson’s 3 capped an 8-0 run for a 77-64 lead with 4:22 to play. Billups’ 3 made it a 14 point game 30 seconds later.

Nick Kern made consecutive layups to cut the deficit to 82-74 but the Rams wrapped it up with four free throws.

Jackson and Shulga both scored 12 points and VCU, which led by as many as nine, took a 46-40 halftime lead. The teams combined for 24 fouls and went 26 of 35 from the foul line. Baldwin had 13 points for the Penn State.

The Rams head home for six games through December, starting with Norfolk State on Friday. The Nittany Lions return home to play Bucknell on Saturday.

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#Billups #scores #Jackson #lead #VCU #Penn #State #win #ESPN #tourney

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