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Nov. 26, 2010
OXFORD, Miss., Nov. 26, 2010 - A hot shooting Ole Miss team and junior guard Trevor Gaskins were too much for the Lions in their first road trip of the season as the Rebels hit 56 percent in the first half and got 24 points on 6-of-11 shooting from three from Gaskins to post an 84-71 victory over Penn State Friday in Oxford, Miss.
Talor Battle had 26 points, his Big Ten leading 33rd career 20-point game. Fellow senior David Jackson added 17 and senior Jeff Brooks had 15 and nine boards, nearly posting a double-double for the fourth time on the season. The Lions could never quite get over the hump after getting within two on a couple of occasions in the second half as Ole Miss pulled away late behind Gaskins and senior guard Chris Warren.
Penn State fell to 4-1 on the year hitting 44 percent while Ole Miss improved to 3-1 shooting 51 percent for the game and 13-of-29 from three. The Rebels improve to 40-2 vs. non-conference opponents under coach Andy Kennedy in Oxford.
The Rebels won the board battle 32-26 while both teams made 17-of-23 from the line. Warren, a Naismith Award candidate and pre-season All-SEC pick, posted 20 points and Indiana transfer Nick Williams added 15.
Trailing 40-34 at the half, Penn State got within two on three occasions in the second half, but could never get the game tied as the Rebels led for all but a few seconds in the opening minutes. A big Battle three and a free throw after drawing a foul from Warren had Penn State down 55-53 with 11:13 to play. The Lions had two possessions to tie the game but Brooks missed a jumper and Billy Oliver was called for an illegal screen.
Williams buried a three. Taran Buie hit a couple free throws to get it back to three, 58-55. It was 60-57 with 8:29 to play when Warren hit a three to spark an 11-2 Rebel run capped by a Terrence Henry tip-in that made it 71-59 with 4:55 left and took a big swath out of Penn State's hopes.
The Lions never got closer than eight the rest of the way as Ole Miss got big offensive boards and a final three-point dagger from Williams.
Ole Miss came out red hot in the first half hitting nine of its first 11 to jump to a 17-10 lead as both teams played at a high level and made shots. Penn State had trouble slowing down Gaskins who ripped five threes in the half for 15 points. Ole Miss shot 56 percent for the half while Penn State was hot early but cooled to 44 percent.
The Rebels would shoot 8-of-16 from three in the half as they kept the pedal down offensively and Penn State battled to keep pace behind 10 early points from Jackson and 10 in the half from Battle.
Four straight threes from Gaskins put the Rebels up 26-18. They pushed the lead to 11, 31-20, before Billy Oliver buried a trey and Taran Buie hit a baseline jumper for a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 31-25.
Gaskin's fifth three of the half made it 36-25, but the Lions again mounted a run this time behind a pair of Battle free throws, a Brooks flying, reverse lay-up and a Buie lay-up on an assist from Battle.
Ole Miss pulled ahead 40-31, before a big Battle baseline three cut the lead to nine, 40-34 and the teams went to the half with the Lions trailing by six.
Penn State will get back to work quickly as they take on Furman Sunday in a 3:30 p.m. tip at the Jordan Center. The two programs have never met. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
Nittany Lion Basketball season tickets are available by calling 814-865-5555. Season tickets are $220 for adults, $190 for seniors for a 19-game home schedule and $59 for students. PNC Flex Books are also available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game and the Lady Lions' Think Pink game.
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.