Nittany Lions Top Hoosiers in Big Ten Tournament, 61-55

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Jeff Brooks led the Nittany Lions with 15 points and seven rebounds.


Jeff Brooks led the Nittany Lions with 15 points and seven rebounds.

March 10, 2011

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INDIANAPOLIS, IND., March 10, 2011 - Penn State (17-13; 9-9 Big Ten) got 15 points and seven rebounds from Jeff Brooks, including several clutch second half buckets, to hold off Indiana (12-20; 3-15 Big Ten), 61-55, in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Thursday in Indianapolis, Ind.

No. 6 seeded Penn State advances to play No. 3 seeded and 13th-ranked Wisconsin in Friday's quarterfinals. That game will tip off at approximately 9:00 p.m. (ET) on the Big Ten Network. The two teams split a pair of regular season meetings with the Nittany Lions claiming a 56-52 victory in State College on Jan. 29 and the Badgers posting a 76-66 victory in Madison on Feb. 20.

No. 11 seeded Indiana used a combination of junk defenses to slow down Talor Battle who entered the game needing 20 points to surpass Jesse Arnelle (2,138) as Penn State's all-time leading scorer. Battle still managed 13 on the night, but shot 3-of-12 from the floor and had four turnovers while playing all 40 minutes. Fellow senior Andrew Jones posted the best Big Ten Tournament game of his career getting 12 points and seven rebounds in 39 minutes.

Penn State shot 46 percent in the game and won the rebounding battle, 34-23, including 15 offensive rebounds which the Lions converted to 17 second chance points and a dominating 18-7 second half performance on the glass. Indiana was led by 15 points from Christian Watford, the only one of 10 Hoosiers who scored in the game to reach double-figures.

The Lions logged their sixth win in their last seven meetings with Indiana and just the fifth first round victory for the program in 14 Big Ten Tournament appearances.

Penn State led 28-27 at the half after opening the game with a quick 8-0 spurt before seeing the Hoosiers take a 15-9 lead. Penn State went to Brooks, who had four first half points, on the block in the second half and his three-point play to start the final 20 minutes quickly built a 31-27 lead.

Indiana tied the game at 31, but a Brooks hook and a Battle three built a 36-31 lead. Penn State pushed its lead to seven, 42-35, on another Brooks jumper with 14:38 to play, but saw Indiana run of four-straight points to cut the lead to three, 42-39, on a Jordan Hulls jumper with 13:20 left.

Battle hit the second of his two threes on the night to rebuild the lead to six and move past Dee Brown (299) for seventh all-time in the Big Ten in three-pointers with 300 on his career. Battle also joined Joe Crispin on the night as the only Nittany Lions to post two seasons of 600 or more points as he pushed his season total to 606.

After a pair of Watford buckets, the Hoosiers got back within three, 47-44, with 10 minutes to play, but the Lions reeled off six-straight to build their largest margin of the game, 53-44, with 7:04 left. Tim Frazier fed Jones for a dunk. Brooks hit another jumper and, after a David Jackson steal, Battle fed Jones for another lay-up.

The Hoosiers weren't dead as they cut the lead back to four with a Jeremiah Rivers three and a Verdell Jones three with 6:12 left. Both teams managed just two points over the next four minutes and the Lions led 57-51 after Brook's spinning shot off the glass with 1:34 to play.

Hulls fed Victor Oladipo for a dunk with 33 seconds to play and the lead was back to four, 57-53. Indiana sent Battle to the line and he hit a pair. Hulls fed Watford for a lay-up with 14 seconds left. Indiana pressed and Frazier found Jackson streaking down the sideline for a break-away dunk that sealed the win.

Penn State came out of the locker room sizzling as the Lions drained their first three shots, including threes from Frazier and Jackson, to jump to an 8-0 lead. The Hoosiers finally got on the board with a Watford bucket at the 17:02 mark and the Lions suddenly went cold going the next four minutes without a score as Indiana put together a 15-1 run that got the red clad fans at Conseco Fieldhouse roaring.

Oladipo got a break-away dunk, Hulls a three and Oladipo a put-back as Indiana took a 13-9 lead. Watford completed the run with a pair of free throws and the Hoosiers led 15-9 midway through the half.

Jackson picked up his second foul and went to the bench for the Lions bringing on Jermaine Marshall who would be huge for the Lions in 13 first half minutes. The red-shirt freshman went 2-of-2 from three and scored a team-high seven points in the half providing a much needed boost.

Battle was fouled on a three and hit all three shots at the Line to break the Penn State drought and Marshall canned a three to put Penn State back in the lead, 16-15, following a 7-0 run. Indiana came right back with a Matt Roth three. Frazier scored on a driving scoop shot to regain a 20-19 lead for the Lions, but picked up his third foul shortly thereafter and went to the bench.

Indiana used a 4-0 run to regain a 23-20 lead, but Andrew Jones got a lay-up and Marshall buried his second three of the half with 1:25 to play to give the Lions a 25-23 lead. Indiana got a Hulls jumper and a steal and a Rivers lay-up to regain a 27-25 lead.

Jeff Brooks drew a foul and hit one at the line and then followed a late miss with a tip-in as the clock expired to send Penn State to the locker room up 28-27.

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.

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