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UNIVERSITY PARK — Every time Rasir Bolton gets the ball in his hands, a familiar voice echoes in his head.

“It’s my Pops,” Bolton said. “Since I was seven, he would just tell me, ‘Shooting is like breathing. Breath in, breath out, bring the ball up, breath in, shoot it, breath out.’”

When he sticks to that, Bolton can make it look easy. The Penn State freshman scored 10 of his 18 points in the first half to help the Nittany Lions beat UMBC 74-52 on Saturday.

Lamar Stevens added 16 points and seven rebounds for the Nittany Lions (7-6) who finished their non-conference slate 7-4. That stretch included a 2-2 mark against Virginia Tech, Alabama, North Carolina State and Duquesne, teams that are 40-8 combined thus far.

“That really put us through a lot of tests,” Penn State coach Pat Chambers said. “That’s why we’ll be mentally and physically ready to head to Michigan and play in the Big Ten.”

The Nittany Lions were ready to play on Saturday, especially after what Chambers called a much needed Christmas break after a loss to Alabama in which Penn State coughed up a 23-9 first-half lead.

UMBC (7-7): Sherburne 7-16 0-0 16, Akin 1-6 0-0 2, Jackson 2-5 0-0 6, Eytle-Rock 1-5 2-2 4, Council 2-2 0-0 5, Lamar 1-6 0-0 2, Horvath 2-6 0-2 4, S.Schwietz 0-3 2-2 2, Gerrity 0-1 0-1 0, Rogers 0-0 0-0 0, J.Schwietz 0-1 2-2 2, Placer 4-4 0-0 9, Rosario 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-56 6-9 52.

PENN ST. (7-6): Watkins 2-3 3-6 7, Buttrick 1-4 1-1 3, Stevens 6-11 4-7 16, Reaves 3-5 2-2 9, Bolton 6-12 2-3 18, Hazle 0-0 0-0 0, Harrar 1-2 2-2 4, Zemgulis 0-0 0-0 0, Kasatkin 0-0 0-0 0, Wheeler 0-0 0-0 0, McCloskey 1-2 0-0 2, Jones 2-5 0-0 6, Nussbaum 0-0 0-0 0, Dread 3-6 0-0 9. Totals 25-50 14-21 74.

Halftime–Penn St. 40-27. 3-Point Goals–UMBC 6-17 (Jackson 2-3, Sherburne 2-6, Placer 1-1, Council 1-1, Eytle-Rock 0-1, Horvath 0-2, Lamar 0-3), Penn St. 10-21 (Bolton 4-9, Dread 3-5, Jones 2-4, Reaves 1-1, Buttrick 0-2). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–UMBC 26 (Akin 7), Penn St. 31 (Stevens 7). Assists–UMBC 8 (Eytle-Rock 2), Penn St. 14 (Reaves 5). Total Fouls–UMBC 17, Penn St. 14. A–9,042.

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