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Feb. 6, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Feb. 6, 2011 - Penn State (12-10; 5-6 Big Ten) held double-digit leads in both halves and got 31 points from Talor Battle but couldn't hold off Michigan (14-10; 4-7 Big Ten) on "Super Bowl Sunday" as the Wolverines used a late 17-7 run to come from 10 down to defeat the Nittany Lions 65-62 at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Battle (Albany, N.Y.) led all scorers with 31, scoring 20 of those points in the second half. It was Battle's seventh career thirty-point game and third of the season as he passed Joe Crispin (1,050) to become Penn State's all-time leading scorer in Big Ten games. Cammeron Woodyard made his second career start in place of an injured Jeff Brooks who sat with a dislocated right shoulder suffered at Illinois on Tuesday. Woodyard replaced the Lions' second leading scorer and leading rebounder with career highs of 10 points and seven rebounds in a career-most 37 minutes.
"We are shooting ourselves in the leg to get where we want to get (NCAA Tournament)," Battle said. "We had a chance to go 6-5 (in the Big Ten) and get Jeff back and move on. Unfortunately, we didn't. We took a step backwards and dug ourselves a hole. We can't afford to lose. We just have to get hot.
Michigan shot 56 percent in the second half, hitting 5-of-9 from three, and got 23 points from Darius Morris, 14 from Stu Douglass and 13 from Tim Hardaway, Jr., all of Hardaway's in the second half, to sweep the season series with the Lions. The teams combined to hit 19 threes on the day as Penn State downed 10, its second most on the year, and Michigan nine. The Wolverines bench out-scored the Lions' 20-2 and the Wolverines dominated the paint 32-14 in scoring.
"It was just stretches (of bad defense)," Battle said. "If you want to be a good basketball team you can't do that. A team like Michigan, they are never out of a game because they shoot so well from the three. We just stand there with our hands down and they knock it in our faces.
"It is just so disappointing. Every time it goes up, you just see the ball going through the hoop. It was just like last year in our home court here. You just shake your head because you don't want to lose a game like this."
Penn State led 46-36 with 8:15 remaining after using a 10-2 run to build the double-digit margin. The Lions led for most of the game before a 10-0 Michigan run brought the Wolverines from 53-47 down with 6:02 to play to up four, 57-53, with 3:12 left. The run was led by a pair of Morris lay-ups and two threes from Hardaway Jr. that gave the Wolverines a lead they never gave back.
Battle ended the run with an and-one lay-up to get the Lions back to within one, 57-56, with 2:34 remaining, but that would be the closest the Nittany Lions would get. A dunk by Jordan Morgan of a screen and roll and a lay-up from Hardaway Jr. extended the Michigan lead to five with 1:38 remaining.
Battle got back to the line and knocked down both free throws to close the gap to three with 1:27 left. A quick stop gave the Lions a chance to tie the game but Battle missed a deep three as he was looking for the two-for-one with 43 seconds remaining.
Clutch free throw shooting from Morris kept the margin just out of reach and a missed three by Woodyard put the game away.
In the first half, Penn State built as much as an 11-point lead after a David Jackson three from the top of the key with 6:52 to play. But, with starters Andrew Jones and Tim Frazier on the bench with foul trouble, the Lions would not score again in the half and watched Michigan close the first 20 minutes on a 14-0 run to take a 27-24 halftime lead.
A no-look pass from Frazier led to an and-one by Battle with 11:52 left in the half. Battle hit a three with 10:18 remaining to extend the lead to 10. Michigan slice the lead to five with a Morris lay-up and a deep three from Zack Novack.
The Nittany Lions responded with a three from battle and Jackson's three to take their largest lead of the game, 24-13.
Michigan seized the momentum three-straight threes, two from Stu Douglas and one by Matt Vogrich. Morris and an and-one lay-up and Jordan Morgan finished the half with a lay-up as Penn State missed its final eight shots and a pair of free throws as they were held scoreless for the final 6:52 of the half.
Battle and the Lions came out shooting to start the second half as Battle knocked down a pair of threes on Frazier assists before Woodyard hit two of his own, to give Penn State a 36-29 lead after a 12-2 run to open the half.
The Wolverines got into foul trouble early in the second half as the Nittany Lions were in the bonus with 11:03 remaining. Battle continued his hot second half shooting extending the lead to eight with 10:10 remaining with a three on an assist from Frazier. The three gave Battle his third 20-point game in four Super Bowl Weekend appearances and his 42nd 20-point game of his career and 12th of the season. Frazier ended up with a career-high tying eight assists.
The Nittany Lions will continue their Big Ten schedule in East Lansing as they take on the Michigan State Spartans on Thursday at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network. Penn State will return home on Sunday, Feb. 13 when they host the Northwestern Wildcats at 3 p.m.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 814-865-5555, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level tickets for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5 for each of the 19 home contests.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Assistant Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.