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Dec. 4, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Dec. 4, 2009 - Coming off a 69-67 road victory at Virginia on Monday, the Nittany Lion basketball team (5-2) will look to win a program record fifth-straight non-conference road game on Saturday when it takes on Temple at 4:00 p.m. at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. The game can be heard live on the Penn State Sports Network (ESPN Radio 1450 AM locally) with "The Voice of the Nittany Lions" Steve Jones and Philadelphia sports writing great Dick Jerardi calling the action.
Two busloads of Penn State students will be making the trip to Philadelphia on Saturday morning for the game as will a Penn State Alumni bus. The Penn State Alumni Association will also be sponsoring a pre-game Nittany Lion fan get together from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Diamond Club in Mitten Hall, just steps from the Liacouras Center. The event will include complimentary Philadelphia-themed foods, cash bar, rallying words, and some blue-and-white fun.
Penn State has equaled a program record of winning four straight games on non-conference opponent's home floors with victories at Penn, at Georgia Tech, at Florida (NIT) and at Virginia in the past two seasons. The Lions also accomplished the feat in a three-season span from 1993-94 through 1995-96 under coaches Bruce Parkhill and Jerry Dunn as they recorded victories at Akron, at Duquesne, at Nebraska (NIT) and at Tennessee. The Nittany Lions stand 6-9 overall in non-conference road games under coach Ed DeChellis.
To pull off the program record, Penn State will have to break a string of five-straight losses to Temple and win on the Owls home floor for the first time since 1983. Among the five-straight losses to the Owls were a 66-60 loss in the 2001 NCAA Sweet 16 in Atlanta and a 65-59 loss last year at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Nittany Lions put together one of their best offensive halves of the season behind Talor Battle's career high 32 points in their victory at Virginia. The Lions scored 48 second half points, a program-record 28 from Battle, in overcoming a 27-21 halftime deficit against the Cavaliers. Freshman point guard Tim Frazier (11 points) helped fuel the comeback combining with Battle to score all of the Lions' points in a 13-2 run to start the second half. Battle ranks third in the Big Ten averaging 20.1 ppg, while fellow junior Jeff Brooks also is averaging double-figures at 10.0 ppg and junior forward David Jackson is just short posting 9.9 ppg.
Temple (5-2) is coming off a 76-70 victory at Western Michigan and has held five of its seven opponents on the year to 56 points or less. The Owls, who are giving up just 56.0 ppg, are led by senior guard Ryan Brooks who averages 13.6 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. Forward Lavoy Allen is adding 12.1 ppg and 9.4 rpg.