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Penn State Routs No. 15 Virginia Tech in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

After blowing a big lead vs. Seton Hall, Penn State makes sure of its first road win at Virginia Tech.

Penn State allowed a big lead to evaporate last Sunday against Seton Hall. The Lions weren't going to let it happen twice.

Izaiah Brockington scored a career-high 24 points, Myreon Jones added 14 and Penn State turned a sprinter's start into a 75-55 victory over No. 15 Virginia Tech on Tuesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Penn State (3-1) scored 17 consecutive points in the first half and led by as many as 29 in the second, but Sunday's scab remained. The Lions led Seton Hall by 8 points with 1:58 remaining but eventually fell in overtime, prompting interim coach Jim Ferry to write on his board, "We've been here before, what are we going to do with it?"

That, in turn, prompted Jamari Wheeler and John Harrar to remind teammates in the huddle, "This isn't happening, we're doing it, we're staying together." Penn State responded with its first win over a ranked team since beating Michigan State in early February.

"I'm just really proud of our guys to bounce back from such a tough loss the other day," Ferry said. "We started the game very similarly, and our guys really handled it like a mature team. I thought we came out and showed who we really could be."

Penn State continued to be a thorn to Virginia Tech, which beat then-No. 3 Villanova in overtime Nov. 28. Penn State improved to 4-0 against the Hokies in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and ended their 34-game, non-conference win streak.

What's more, the Lions really didn't even begin preparing for Virginia Tech until Tuesday. Ferry said that the players spent Monday watching film of the Seton Hall game, looking inward and then traveling to Blacksburg.

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"We did not talk one second about Virginia Tech [on Monday]," Ferry said.

That served Penn State well, as it raced past Virginia Tech to a 17-3 lead, prodded by Brockington, Jones and a defense that Ferry nudged to play quickly. If he's going to play a big group of guards, Ferry wants them to control the pace.

Penn State led by as many as 29 points in the second half, answered a mini-surge from the Hokies and ultimately shot 12-for-23 from 3-point range. Brockington was crisp from the field, going 10 for 14, while Jones made 4 of 7 3-pointers.

Further, Penn State improved to 12-0 in regular-season games while wearing its pink-and-black alternate uniforms.

Asked whether Penn State delivered a "statement" win Tuesday, Ferry said his team didn't need to make one. Having won 21 games last season, and with a lot of shared experience from that, the players already believed they can play with anyone.

"It was more the opposite, that we were really disappointed in ourselves after the Seton Hall loss," Ferry said. "So I think these guys just came together for each other."

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