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Nov. 20, 2009
CHARLESTON, S.C., Nov. 20, 2009 - The Nittany Lion basketball team (2-2) couldn't find the bottom of the net for the second straight game at the Carolina First Arena hitting just 30.9 percent from the floor and 4-of-18 from three to drop its second straight game at the Charleston Classic, 63-60, to Tulane on Friday.
In a game that saw 45 fouls and 51 free throw attempts, Penn State stayed in the game hitting 22-of-25 (88%) at the line and winning the rebounding battle 40-33, but couldn't overcome a run of now four straight halves shooting 35 percent or worse. Jeff Brooks (Louisville, Ky) led Penn State with a career high 15 points and seven rebounds while hitting 6-of-11 from the floor and adding three assists and block in 34 minutes. Talor Battle (Albany, N.Y.) added 15 points of his own, but was 3-of-13 from the floor as Penn State's starting guards combined to shoot 4-of-20 on the day. Andrew Jones contributed 11 rebounds but combined with fellow starting forward David Jackson to shoot 3-of-13 from the floor.
Tulane (1-2), which entered the game hitting just 22 percent from three, got its first win on the season by shooting 9-of-19 (42%) from three and hitting 21-of-26 at the foul line. Aaron Holmes led the Green Wave with 17 points while Kris Richard added 14 on three treys.
Penn State again trailed for the majority of the game at the Classic and built its biggest lead of four points with at the 19:12 mark of the first half. Tulane led by as many as nine with 8:07 to play in the game.
After an early 4-0 Penn State lead, Tulane used a 7-0 run to grab the advantage. Both teams struggled to less then 25 percent shooting during much of the first half. Penn State never warmed up hitting just 27 percent in the first 20 minutes. A Jackson three got Penn State within one, 21-20, and a Battle fade-away gave the Lions a 22-21 edge, which they built to 24-21 with a Tim Frazier drive and lay-up.
A Richard three tied the game at 24, but Jackson got one free throw to give the Lions a 25-24 halftime lead. Penn State entered the game 35-3 when leading at halftime the last three seasons, but would not be able to build on that total.
The Lions went scoreless for nearly four minutes to begin the second half as Tulane retook the lead, 29-25. Brooks finally broke the ice with 16:17 to play with a driving 10-footer. Frazier followed with a pair of free throws to tie the game at 29 as Tulane racked up the fouls and moved quickly into the bonus. Freshman Sasa Borovnjak got a put-back with 13:07 to play to give Penn State a 33-32 lead, but it would be the last field goal for the Lions until a Brooks jumper with 7:18 to play.
Penn State stayed close by drawing fouls on the perimeter and getting to the line. Frazier scored the next four points for the Lions at the Line as Penn State trailed by one, 38-37, with 10:48 to play. But, missed shots and a string of four straight turnovers helped fuel an 8-0 Wave run and Tulane led by nine, 46-37, when Richard converted in the paint.
Jumpers from Brooks and Adam Highberger cut the lead and, when Brooks converted a three-point play, the Lions trailed by just three, 49-46, with 5:10 to play. After a Wave miss, Battle tied the game with a 22 foot three capping a 10-1 Nittany Lion run.
Tulane built its lead back to four, 53-49, after Kevin Sims, who entered the game 0-of-19 on the year, made a lay-up to end an 0-for-22 string to start the season. A corner three-pointer by Babb, who was 1-of-7 on the day, cut the lead back to one. After a Richard jumper, Brooks hit again and then Battle drew a foul and gave the Lions the lead, 56-55 with a pair of free throws with 1:20 to play.
Tulane hit four straight at the line after a pair of Nittany Lion fouls and regained a 59-56 lead. Battle again got to the line to cut the lead to one, but Sims buried a 22-foot top of the key three for a dagger that gave the Wave a 62-58 lead with 21 seconds to play. Battle and Babb missed on the other end and Highberger sent David Booker to the line with seven seconds to play. He hit put the game on ice.
Penn State will look to get its first win of the Classic when it takes the floor at 10 a.m. Sunday morning against the loser of the Davidson vs. LaSalle match-up to be played later on Friday.