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Jan. 14, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Jan. 14, 2010 - Penn State (8-8; 0-4 Big Ten) will look to end a four-game losing skid, its longest in two seasons, when it travel to Iowa (6-11; 0-4 Big Ten) Saturday to take on the Hawkeyes in a 1:00 p.m. (ET) tip on the Big Ten Network.
The Lions suffered a heartbreaking one-point loss (54-53) at Illinois in their last outing as sophomore Chris Babb posted a career-best double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The game marked Penn State's fifth loss by five points or less on the season. For Babb, it continued a recent streak of hot play as he has posted 10.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 2.0 apg while shooting 51.9 percent (14-27) from three in his last five games.
The Nittany Lions will be looking for their first Big Ten win of the season at the site of one of their toughest defeats last year. Penn State took a 21-9 record into Iowa last season looking to improve to 11-7 in the conference and secure a second place finish, but the Hawkeye's Jake Kelly hit a pair of banked in threes down the stretch as Iowa claimed a 75-67 victory in double-overtime. Penn State has not won at Iowa since 2001, but has won three of the last five meetings in the series.
Kelly is no longer at Iowa, but Penn State's Talor Battle posted 26 points and 10 rebounds in the game and enters Saturday's contest as the second leading scorer in the Big Ten posting 17.6 ppg.
Penn State brings the Big Ten's second-best defense into the game giving up just 61.2 ppg and having held seven opponents to 60 points or less on the season. Penn State also ranks second in rebounding margin in the Big Ten having out-rebounded all four of its Big Ten opponents and 13 of 16 opponents on the season while posting a 5.5 rebound advantage.
Iowa is coming off a 67-62 victory over Tennessee State in Iowa City on Tuesday and is led by guard Matt Gatens (12.8 ppg). The Hawkeyes rank last in the Big Ten in scoring (62.8 ppg) and field goal percentage (42.8%), but rank second in the Big Ten hitting 8.4 threes per game.