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Feb. 13, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., February 13, 2010 - It was "Talor Battle Figurine Day" at the Bryce Jordan Center and the Nittany Lions' 6-0, point-guard didn't disappoint pouring in 30 points and a career-high tying seven threes in a thrilling duel with Michigan State point-guard Kalin Lucas, who posted 24, in front of a crowd of 14,017. But, it wasn't enough as the 10th-ranked Spartans used a 13-0 run to overcome a two-point deficit mid-way through the second half and claim a 65-54 victory.
Michigan State (20-6; 10-3 Big Ten) maintained its lead in the Big Ten standings behind 14 Lucas points in the final 12:24 as the Spartans out-scored the Lions 21-8 over the final 13 minutes of action after Penn State had claimed a 46-44 lead on a David Jackson (Farrell, Pa.) three with 12:24 to play.
The duel between two of the nation's top guards dominated the game as Battle (Albany, N.Y.) posted his Big Ten leading 13th 20-point plus outing of the year, and seventh in the last eight games, and his fourth 30-point game of the season, the second-most ever by a Nittany Lion. He hit 7-of-11 from three and added a team-high five assists and five boards in 37 minutes. Battle raised his season scoring average to 19.5 ppg overall and 20.3 ppg in conference games to pass Ohio State's Evan Turner for the conference scoring lead.
"When you play a team of the caliber of Michigan State - last year, they were in the National Championship game and Coach Izzo has won a National Championship and they are one of the best teams in the country every year - that's all the incentive you need to be hyped and excited to play," Battle said. "I had a lot of family and friends down here, so I was really excited today to be honest with you. At the same time that can hinder you, trying to do too much and trying to let the game come to you too much. But, I tried to level that and really focus in and tried to play well today."
Lucas, who started his first game since sustaining an injury last Saturday at Illinois, tied his career-high in points hitting 10-of-15 from the floor and added a game-high six assists. Michigan State saw Chris Allen also reach double figures with 14 while Penn State (8-16, 0-12 Big Ten) got 10 from David Jackson (Farrell, Pa.) for his career-best sixth-straight double-figure scoring game. The Spartan bench out-scored Penn State's 14-1 and out-rebounded the Lions' 13-1 as Michigan State's depth carried the day. The Spartans dominated the glass overall, 38-24, and used 12 offensive rebounds to get 11 second chance points.
The story of the game for the Lions was three-point shooting that kept them within range in the first half and gave them a brief lead in the second. After hitting five treys in the first half, Penn State hit five of its first seven three-pointers in the second half within a span of 6:13 to close a nine-point deficit and take a two-point lead. The fifth three gave Penn State a 46-44 lead with 12:24 remaining, but the Spartans took control from that point forward to cruise to the double-digit win.
Penn State shot 41 percent (18-for-44) from the field (18-of-44) and 42 percent (11-for-25) from three-point range. The Spartans were 47 percent (26-for-55) and 54 percent (7-for-13) from long range.
After Michigan State turned a six-point halftime lead into a 39-30 advantage, the Nittany Lions responded with a pair of three-pointers from Battle and Chris Babb on consecutive possessions to pull within 39-36 with 17:10 remaining.
Penn State's long-range shooting continued as Battle and Jackson hit two more threes to give the Lions a 46-44 lead, their first since 11-10.
Durrell Summers and Delvon Roe single-handedly put the Spartans back on top with 13-straight points to make it 57-46 with 6:12 remaining. After Summers scored the first seven, Roe came back with three-straight buckets in the low post to extend the run to 13-0. Jeff Brooks (Louisville, Ky.) finally ended the run and Penn State's 6:30 scoreless drought with a layup in the lane to cut the lead to single digits, 57-48, with 5:54 to go.
That was as close as the Nittany Lions would get as the Spartans maintained a double-digit margin, led by seven Lucas points in the final 4:59.
Lucas led an opening onslaught as well. His long jumper and driving layup put the Spartans up 4-0 just 1:26 into the game. Trailing 6-1, Penn State responded with 10 of the game's next 14 points, capped off by a Battle three-pointer to give the Lions their first lead of the game (11-10) with 10:51 remaining in the first half.
The Spartans answered with a 12-4 run of their own to open up a 22-15 lead, sparked by Allen, who had two of his four three-pointers in that span.
Babb ended the run with a three-pointer to pull within four and Battle followed with the Lions' next five, including a 28-foot three as the shot clock expired, to pull within 26-23 with 4:53 to go in the first half and bring the Jordan Center crowd to its feet.
Michigan State scored five of the next seven, including a Garrick Sherman last-second tip in as time expired, for the 31-25 halftime lead.
The Nittany Lions look for their elusive first Big Ten win on Wednesday when they travel to Evanston to face the Northwestern Wildcats. Game time is set for 8:30 p.m. (ET) on the Big Ten Network. After another road tilt at Michigan on Feb. 20, the Lions return home on Wednesday, Feb. 24 to face Ohio State at 6:30 p.m.