Monday, February 2, 2009

Ballin in State College

Contrary to popular belief, they do play sports other than football at Penn State. And yesterday the men's basketball team did something they had never done before, win at Michigan St. Michigan St. is consistently the class of the Big 10, and this year is no different as the Spartans came in ranked #9 nationally.

The game was pretty much back and forth throughout, with one team making a run and then the other team countering, and it was a very entertaining game to watch. Michigan St. led by as many as 13 in the first half before a late surge allowed the Nittany Lions to take a 1 point lead into the half.

In the second half Penn St. extended the lead to as much as 12 before nearly letting it slip away. Michigan St. is a proud program and they were playing at home, so they certainly weren't going to just let the Nittany Lions walk out of there with the win unchallenged. But Penn St. added to the Spartan push with a 1-8 stretch from the foul line. They finished the game 8-17 from the line, but shot 56% from the field and 50% from three. Penn St. was able to overcome the foul shooting woes and hold on for the 72-68 win.

Talor Battle played all 40 minutes and had 29 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists and is making a push for Big Ten Player of the Year. He is averaging 19 pts., 5.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on the season. Jamelle Cornley added 16 points and 4 rebounds.

The Nittany Lions (17-5) have been quietly putting together a nice season. Yesterday's win gave them their first four-game win streak in Big Ten play since 1996. At 6-3 in conference play they sit in a three-way tie for third in the conference. They have wins over ranked Purdue and Michigan St. The rest of the way will not be easy for Penn St., they still have games against Purdue, Illinois, and Minnesota, all teams ahead of them in the Big Ten and all of whom were ranked heading into Sunday. That leaves their destiny in their own hands, and to this point they have put themselves in position to make their first NCAA tournament appearance in 8 years.

BallHype: hype it up!

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