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March 11, 2011
Battle seven points shy of eclipsing Penn State all-time scoring mark
INDIANAPOLIS, IND., March 11, 2011 - Penn State (17-13; 9-9 Big Ten) will look to post its sixth win in its last eight games and see its star player set a new program scoring standard when the Nittany Lions take on No. 3 seed and 13th-ranked Wisconsin (23-7; 13-5 Big Ten) in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament Friday in Indianapolis
The game will tip off at approximately 8:55 p.m. on the Big Ten Network and can also be heard live on the Penn State Sports Network, 1450 AM locally.
Penn State and Wisconsin split the season series with the Lions posting a 56-52 victory over then No. 15 Wisconsin in State College on Jan. 29 and the Badgers winning 76-66 in Madison on Feb. 20. Talor Battle posted 20-point games in each of the last three meetings with the Badgers and enters Friday's game needing just seven points to eclipse the 56-year-old Penn State all-time scoring mark of 2,138 set by Jesse Arnelle.
Penn State has posted one win in the last 12 meetings with the Badgers who lead the series 28-9, including a 1-0 record vs. the Lions in the Big Ten Tournament - a 52-51 victory in both team's very first Tournament appearance in 1998 as the No. 10 seeded Badgers upset the No. 7 seeded Lions.
IN STATE COLLEGE: Battle led the Lions with 22 points on 3-of-9 from three. Andrew Jones equaled a career high with 14 rebounds and Jeff Brooks added 12 for a Lion team that shot 63 percent in the second half to overcome a 29-20 halftime deficit. Jon Leuer had 18 and Jordan Taylor 16 for Wisconsin. Penn State won the rebounding battle 29-25.
IN MADISON: Battle posted 23 points (20 in the second half) equaling a career high with 7 threes on 13 attempts (hitting four in the final 3 minutes). Jeff Brooks added 18 on 8-of-9 shooting, despite sitting 10 minutes in the first half with foul trouble, and Tim Frazier equaled a season high with 12 points. The Badgers came out blazing as Keaton Nankivil hit his first five shots on his way to 22 points and 5-of-5 from three. Leuer also posted 22 points and 10 rebounds for a Badger team that hit 8-of-15 from three and led 32-19 at the half and by as many as 19 with 5:14 to play.
Penn State, the No. 6 seed matching its highest ever in the Big Ten Tournament (2009), were also a No. 6 seed in 2009 going 1-1 that year and losing in the quarterfinals, 79-65, to No. 3 seed Purdue. The Lions are 7-13 all-time in 14 Big Ten Tournament appearances and have twice advanced to the semifinals (2000 & 2001). The Lions are 5-9 in first round games after downing Indiana, 61-55, on Thursday behind 15 points and seven rebounds from Jeff Brooks.
Penn State is 3-6 overall in seven Tournaments held in Indianapolis, reaching the quarterfinals three times (2006, 2009 & 2011). Penn State is 2-2 in four quarterfinal appearances all-time, last winning with a 65-63 victory over No. 2 seed and 2nd-ranked Michigan State, 65-63, on a Joe Crispin closing seconds three in 2001.That victory marked the highest ranked opponent Penn State has ever beaten and among the biggest victories in program history. It propelled Penn State into the NCAA Tournament and an eventual NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.
Penn State is seeking to strengthen its resume for its first NCAA Tournament bid in 10 years. With 13 points in the Big Ten Tournament first round vs. Indiana, Battle became the 2nd Lion to post multiple 600-point seasons (606). Battle logged his fifth 40-minute game in his last six games in the Big Ten Tournament first round and has sat for just two minutes in that span. He has logged ten 40-minute games in Big Ten play and 13 on the season and is 3RD ALL-TIME IN THE BIG TEN in career minutes played (4,639), 13 minutes shy of Steve Alford (IU, 4,652) in second and 59 shy of Dee Brown's (ILL) all-time record of 6,698. Battle's 300 career threes rank seventh all-time in the Big Ten and third at Penn State. He passed Dee Brown (299) for seventh in Big Ten history with two in the Big Ten Tournament first round. He stands eight behind Penn State's Joe Crispin (308) for 6th place.
Andrew Jones posted his best career Big Ten Tournament game in five appearances with 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists in a CAREER-HIGH 39 minutes vs. Indiana in the first round. Jeff Brooks led the Lions in scoring for the seventh time on the season and just 10th of his career with his career best Big Ten Tournament game. Brooks logged 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds in 37 minutes.
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