Nittany Lions & Spartans Clash Saturday at BJC

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Talor Battle


Talor Battle

Jan. 7, 2011

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Jan. 7, 2011 - Penn State (8-6; 1-2 Big Ten) will continue a program-record run of five-straight games vs. ranked foes on Saturday when the Nittany Lions take on No. 18-ranked Michigan State (10-4; 2-0 Big Ten) in a 1:00 p.m. tip at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Fans will receive a life-size Andrew Jones Growth Chart at the door while supplies last. The game can be seen live on the Big Ten Network and heard live on the Penn State Sports Network, 1450 AM locally, and on Sirius channel 125 and XM radio channel 196.

Big Ten leading scorer Talor Battle (21.1 ppg) enters Saturday having posted 23.7 points and 4.5 threes per game in his last four outings against the Spartans, including a then career-high 29 points in a 72-68 victory over the No. 9-ranked Spartans in East Lansing in 2009 and 30 last year in a 65-54 loss to MSU in State College. The third leading scorer in Penn State history with 1,821 points, Battle is quickly closing in on becoming just the second Nittany Lion and 22nd Big Ten player to have posted 2,000 career points.

Battle will look to get some help from a red-hot Jeff Brooks who has posted 18.0 ppg and shot 71 percent from the floor since Big Ten play began. Brooks is coming off his second career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Purdue on Wednesday. Brooks also stands fifth in the Big Ten blocking 1.64 shots and per game and fifth pulling down 7.8 rebounds per game in a break-out season for the senior.

The Spartans bring a 2-0 Big Ten mark into Saturday after winning on the road at Northwestern, 65-62, on Monday behind 15 points and 11 rebounds from 6-7 forward Draymond Green. The Spartans are 10-4 after a tough non-con schedule that saw them play five teams that were ranked in the Top 25 at some point this season and record four losses to teams with a combined record of 49-3 (Connecticut, Duke, Syracuse & Texas). MSU ranks second in the Big Ten in rebounding (39.8) and field goal defense (39.2). Guard Durrell Summers leads the team and ranks 10th in the Big Ten posting 15.2 ppg. Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas posts 14.4 ppg and Green adds 12.2 ppg and a team-high 8.9 rpg.

MSU leads the series 28-5 and is 11-3 in State College, winning 65-54 in their last trip last season. MSU has won two straight in the series since PSU posted a 72-68 victory in East Lansing in 2009 behind Battle's 29. Penn State last won at home in the series 86-76 in 2008.

Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 814-865-5555, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level tickets for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5 for each of the 19 home contests.

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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