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Dec. 7, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Dec. 7, 2010 - Playing its fifth game in 12 days, a tired Nittany Lion team found itself in a tie game with Mount St. Mary's with under 30 seconds to play and turned to a familiar hero Wednesday night. Talor Battle dribbled down the shot clock until launching a 28-foot jump shot that tickled the bottom of the net with 1.3 seconds to play and allowed a Bryce Jordan Center crowd to exhale.
The three was Battle's only one of the night as he struggled through a 1-of-12 shooting performance and was 0-of-6 from three until scoring Penn State's last eight points in the final two minutes to thwart a strong upset bid by The Mount which fell to 3-6 on the year.
"I would say that that's kind of normal for him," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said of Battle's late point surge. "Offensively he didn't really have it tonight, and then made the big plays at the end. I think he scored eight points in the last couple of minutes. He made a lay-up, that big play, some free throws and helped us win the game. That's a senior guard that's been through the wars a bunch. He's a special kid, special player and he just found a way to win."
The Nittany Lions improved to 7-2 behind 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists from Battle and senior Jeff Brooks' first career double-double with 12 points and a career-best 13 rebounds. Battle's brother, Taran Buie, added 10 points and junior Cammeron Woodyard, making his first career start for an injured David Jackson, added eight, all in the first half.
Penn State was playing without 6-7 forward Jackson and 6-8 forward Billy Oliver who suffered neck and head injuries, respectively, on Saturday and were held out for precautionary reasons.
The Mount was led by 16 points from Lamar Trice and eight points and seven boards from Tayvon Jackson. Penn State led by nine, 31-22, at the half, but shot just 38 percent from the floor and committed nine turnovers in the second half to allow the Mount to stay close throughout the final 20 minutes. Battle finished the night 4-of-14 from the floor while Brooks went 5-of-14 as the Nittany Lion offense struggled in the absence of Jackson and Oliver.
Penn State led throughout the first half, opening up an eight-point lead, 16-8, after a Buie jumper with 10:09 to play. The Mount sliced the lead to four after a dunk from Danny Thompson and a lay-up from Shawn Atupem. Buie hit another jumper to make it 18-12.
The Mount climbed back to within five, 24-19, following a Josh Castellanos three, but Brook pulled a rebound and fed Woodyard for a break-away dunk and Frazier hit Andrew Jones for a lay-up and a nine-point lead, 28-19, with 35 seconds to play.
Trice nailed a three to cut the margin to six, but Frazier hit Woodyard on the wing for a three in the closing seconds for the nine-point half time edge.
Penn State pushed its lead to 11 on a Brooks jumper to start the second half, but then committed three-straight turnovers to see The Mount climb within four, 33-29, after a Julian Norfleet three and a David Golladay lay-up.
Penn State would never have a comfortable lead again and struggled to maintain a four-point edge until Norfleet downed another three with 11:30 to play to cut the lead to one, 37-36. Battle missed a three and Buie turned the ball over after a Brooks rebound. The Mount got a tip-in from Jackson on the other end and had its first lead of the game, 38-37, with 10:48 to play.
Buie hit a jumper to get the lead back for Penn State hitting a 17-foot jumper while getting fouled and completing the three-point play at the line. The Mount scored the next four points on free throws to take a 42-40 lead.
Battle hit Jones for a dunk to tie the game and then found Buie for a lay-up to retake the lead, 44-42. Penn State eventually rebuilt a four-point edge, 48-44, after a Brooks jumper and a Battle free throw, but The Mount used a 7-3 run to tie the game at 51 on a Trice three with 1:24 to play.
Penn State turned to Battle who drove the lane and finished a flying lay-up over two Mount players to regain the lead, 53-51, with 52 seconds to play.
The Mount came right back to tie the game for the fifth time, 53-53, with a Trice jumper in the lane with 29 seconds to play setting up Battle's final second heroics. Following the three he would hit one of two free throws after Norfleet sent him to the line for the final 57-53 margin.
Penn State will enjoy an overdue day off on Wednesday before beginning preparations to head to Blacksburg, Va. to take on Virginia Tech on Sunday. The game will tip at 1:00 p.m. and can be heard on the Penn State Sports Network. It will be televised by Comcast Sports Net in the Washington D.C. area.
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.
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