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March 13, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS -- Making its first appearance in the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game, Penn State (19-14) fell to No. 1 Ohio State (32-2), 71-60. Immediately following the championship game, NCAA Tournament selections were announced. The 68-team field included the Nittany Lions as a No. 10 seed. Penn State will begin tournament play on Thurs., March 17 vs. No. 7 seed Temple in Tuscon, Ariz. (West Region).
Penn State's iron man Talor Battle (Albany, N.Y.) earned All-Tournament selection after scoring 71 points over four games and playing all 160 minutes for the Nittany Lions. Battle went 9-for-20 vs. the Buckeyes, tallying a game-high 24 points and adding five rebounds. Senior Jeff Brooks (Louisville, Ky.) added 19 points and six rebounds. The highest scoring Buckeye, Williams Buford, scored 18 points, while senior Jon Diebler and freshman Jared Sullinger added 15 each for the Big Ten champs.
No. 1 Ohio State struck first, but the Nittany Lions, who were playing their fourth game in as many days, hung tough through the first half. The Buckeyes led by eight at one point, but only briefly before Penn State threatened again.
The Nittany Lions used a 6-0 run to shrink the Ohio State lead to one point, 22-21, at the 3:58 mark on a pair of free throws from freshman Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.). Marshall paced the Lions' offense during the run, netting four of the team's six points.
Penn State went into the half down six after Ohio State's Diebler hit a three at the buzzer to put the Buckeyes up, 29-23. Battle led the Nittany Lions with 10 points in the first half, with Brooks pitching in with seven. OSU's Diebler continued to be a thorn in the Nittany Lions' side, hitting for 10 points in the first half including the buzzer-beating three to end the half.
The Nittany Lion offense went quiet early in the second half, starting the period 3-for-10 from the floor, allowing the hot-shooting Buckeyes to extend their lead to 17 points at the 12:59 mark. Penn State launched a valiant effort, but couldn't get closer than eight with :31 seconds left to play and eventually ran out of time to stop the Buckeyes' championship run.
Stay tuned to GoPSUsports.com for ticket information and more for the NCAA Tournament!