Nittany Lions Down Indiana, 69-60, In Big Ten Opener

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Jeff Brooks hit a career-high 23 points for the Nittany Lions in Monday's win.


Jeff Brooks hit a career-high 23 points for the Nittany Lions in Monday's win.

Dec. 27, 2010

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Bloomington, Ind., Dec. 27, 2010 - Penn State (8-4; 1-0 Big Ten) posted its second straight win at Indiana (9-5;0-1 Big Ten) and its fourth Big Ten opening win in the last five years on Monday with a 69-60 victory over the Hoosiers in Bloomington.

Senior Jeff Brooks posted a career-high 23 points and added eight rebounds and three blocks while hitting 9-of-12 from the floor to lead the way. Brooks surpassed the 600-point plateau for his career on the night. Talor Battle added 19 points and several huge threes and David Jackson posted 15 points and eight rebounds of his own. The Nittany Lions shot 54 percent from the floor and led for most of the game after hitting their first four shots from the three-point line and starting 6-of-7 from the floor.

Penn State built as much as a 14-point lead in the first half before Indiana made a second half run to briefly take the lead.

Penn State improved to 5-3 in Big Ten openers under coach Ed DeChellis who won for the second straight time at Indiana after Penn State had lost in its first 15 trips to Bloomington. The Hoosiers entered the game 9-0 at home on the year. Battle logged three assists on the night to pass Monroe Brown (450) and move into fifth all-time on the Penn State career assist charts with 452.

Penn State held IU leading scorer Christian Watford to just three points on 1-of-5 shooting after he entered the game averaging 18 ppg. Verdell Jones led IU with 15 points and Victor Oladipo added 14 as IU hit just 36 percent from the floor in the first half and 43 percent for the game.

The Nittany Lions came out on fire in the opening minutes hitting their first four from three and 6-of-7 from the floor to jump to a 16-8 lead. Three consecutive threes, two from Jackson and one Brooks, gave the Lions a 9-0 run and forced an Indiana timeout with 14:56 to play.

Indiana broke the run, but continued to struggle against a Penn State 2-3 zone that closed the paint and made the Hoosiers a perimeter team while holding Watford scoreless until the final minute of the half. The 6-8 forward would finish with just one point in the half as IU shot 36 percent. Penn State would hit 50 percent in the half, including 5-of-10 from three, as Jackson and Brooks combined to go 9-of-12 from the floor.

The Lions would mount a second 9-0 run with another Jackson three, a Brooks three-point play off a nice feed from Frazier and a Battle free throw. Penn State led 25-11 midway through the half as it began to employ a full court press to further harass IU's guards.

Indiana used a 5-0 run to finally get the Assembly Hall crowd into the game and Penn State coach Ed DeChellis called a timeout to stem the tide. Penn State responded with another Brooks three-point play to make it 28-16.

Verdell Jones hit a three for IU and the Hoosiers got a put-back to post a 6-0 run and get within eight, 30-22. Brooks again stemmed the tide pulling a big offensive rebound and getting the put-back to push the lead back to 10 with 3:48 to play. The teams scored just three points in the final three minutes as the Lions took a nine-point lead to the half after officials waved off a late Hoosier shot from Matt Roth that came after the closing buzzer.

Jackson and Brooks led the Lions with 13 points apiece pulling down five and six boards, respectively. The Nittany Lions came out on fire in the opening minutes hitting their first four from three and 6-of-7 from the floor to jump to a 16-8 lead. Three consecutive threes, two from Jackson and one Brooks, gave the Lions a 9-0 run and forced and Indiana timeout with 14:56 to play.

Indiana broke the run, but continued to struggle against a Penn State 2-3 zone that closed the paint and made the Hoosiers a perimeter team while holding leading scorer Christian Watford scoreless until the final minute of the half. The 6-8 forward would finish with just one point in the half as IU shot 36 percent in the half. Penn State would hit 50 percent in the half, including 5-of-10 from three.

The Lions would mount a second 9-0 run with another Jackson three, a Brooks three-point play off a nice feed from Frazier and a Battle free throw. Penn State led 25-11 midway through the half and began to employ a full court press to further harass IU's guards.

Indiana used a 5-0 run to finally get the Assembly Hall crowd into the game and Penn State coach Ed DeChellis called a timeout to stem the tide. Penn State responded with another Brooks three-point play to make it 28-16.

Verdell Jones hit a three for IU and the Hoosiers got a put-back to post a 6-0 run and get within eight, 30-22. Brooks again stemmed the tide pulling a big offensive rebound and getting the put-back to push the lead back to 10. With 3:48 to play. The teams managed just three points in the final three minutes as the Lions took a nine-point lead to the half after officials waved off a Hoosier shot that came after the closing buzzer.

Jackson and Brooks led the Lions with 13 points apiece pulling down five and six boards, respectively. Jackson went 4-of-6 and Brooks 5-of-6 from the floor in the half.

Indiana used a 9-5 run and a Hulls three to cut Penn State's lead to three, 39-36, three minutes into the second half. Battle answered a roaring IU crowd with a 25-foot three of his own. IU scored the next four points to get within two, 42-40, on a Jones lay-up with 13:28 to play.

Battle silenced the crowd again with another three and staked the Lions to a five-point margin. IU then got six straight points from reserve Maurice Creek to take a 48-47 lead with 8:45 to play. It was the Hoosiers first lead since 8-7 just 3 ½ minutes into the game.

This time Brooks answered with a pair of nice jumpers, the last coming on a sweet bank shot from 16 feet, and the Lions led 51-48 with 7:25 to play and would never trail again.

A Hulls jumper got IU back within one, 51-50, and a pair of Jones free throws had the Hoosiers within one at 53-52, but they would get no closer. Penn State used a 10-2 run capped by a Tim Frazier steal and lay-up and three Frazier free throws to take a commanding 63-54 lead with 58 seconds to play. The Lions hit 7-of-10 at the foul line in the final 1:20 to seal the win.

The Nittany Lions played without freshman guard Taran Buie who did not make the trip to Bloomington. Buie was indefinitely suspended from the team prior to the contest for violating team rules.

Penn State will return to the road for its next Big Ten outing when it takes on Michigan in Ann Arbor on Jan. 2. That game is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. tip on the Big Ten Network. Penn State posted a 55-51 victory at Michigan last year behind 14 points from Battle and 10 from Andrew Jones.

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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