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NCAA Game Summary - Penn State at Michigan State
(Sunday, February 1st)
Final Score: Penn State 72, (9) Michigan State 68
East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Talor Battle had a career-high 29 points, as Penn State overcame major free throw-shooting troubles to hold on for its first-ever win at Michigan State, a 72-68 victory over the ninth-ranked Spartans.
Battle made 6-of-12 three-pointers and Penn State (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten) shot 56.3 percent as a team, but the Nittany Lions made only 8-of-17 foul shots -- including 4-of-11 down the stretch.
Penn State, though, pulled out its first win in 17 trips to East Lansing, as Jamelle Cornley added 16 points and Andrew Jones ended with 12 points and nine boards in the win, the Lions' fourth in a row.
"He is a big-game player; he loves this atmosphere," Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis said. "He wanted the ball and he got it going a little bit and we kept letting him have the ball."
Kalin Lucas had 23 points to pace Michigan State (17-4, 7-2), which suffered its second consecutive home loss. The Spartans dropped a 70-63 decision to Northwestern on January 21 before winning their next two contests -- at Ohio State and at Iowa.
Goran Suton and Chris Allen each had 11 points for MSU.
"You win at home because you work. You don't win at home because you're supposed to," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. "It's an entitlement society, as we all know, and I think our players kind of feel that the past players pioneered their way through, and it's an entitlement that we're supposed to win at home. Let's face it - our fans, our media, everybody thinks that. I don't."
Penn State had trailed by double digits in the first half, but fought back to take a one-point edge at halftime, then assumed a big lead in the second half. Battle's floater with just under seven minutes left gave PSU a 68-56 lead, forcing Michigan State to call a timeout with 6:43 on the clock.
Lucas drove for a basket and was fouled with 4:14 remaining, and made the foul shot to get the Spartans within 68-59. A short time later, a Michigan State steal led to a tip-in from Allen, getting the hosts within seven.
The Spartans then began to foul Penn State, which entered the game last in the Big Ten in free throw percentage, at 65.3. The strategy worked, as Danny Morrissey went to the line for a 1-and-1 with 3:14 left, but missed the front end.
Michigan State missed its next several shots, but Allen went to the line after grabbing a rebound in a scrum, and made both to make it a five-point game. The Spartans went back to fouling, sending Jones to the line, and he also missed the front end of his 1-and-1.
Following two free throws from Lucas that got MSU within 68-65 with 1:53 remaining, the teams missed a series of shots as the clock rolled under a minute. Cornley grabbed the rebound off an errant Spartans try, and was fouled with 47.0 ticks left. Cornley missed his first shot of a 1-and-1, but managed to get the ball back and returned to the stripe in the double bonus, and made the first.
Lucas got a quick basket with 29.0 seconds remaining, making it a 69-67 contest, and the Spartans caught another break when Battle bricked both foul shots with 23.1 remaining.
Allen missed a three on the other end, but Lucas got the board and, with 12.0 ticks left, made the first of two free throws. But he missed the second and Jones got the rebound. Jones made one of his two shots, keeping MSU within 70-68 with 10.5 seconds left for a tying or winning shot.
However, Lucas' jumper was off the mark, and Jones again got the rebound, then made 2-of-2 foul shots with 1.6 ticks left to seal the game.
"We didn't make free throws down the stretch, which is really poor on our part," DeChellis said. "We haven't shot the ball well from the free throw line all year. We shot a billion this week when we were off, but it just didn't carry over. We always seem to make a really big one or two when we really have to."
Michigan State used a 17-3 run in the first half to take a 29-16 lead. But the Lions answered the surge with three consecutive treys to get within four. Penn State then ended the half with eight consecutive points, the last of which came on a Battle three from the top of the arc with just seconds remaining, and the Lions took a 38-37 edge into halftime.
PSU made 8-of-8 field goals to begin the second half, two of which were long three-pointers from Battle. The second was a bank-shot from about five feet beyond the top of the arc, giving the Lions a 59-49 advantage almost eight minutes in.
Michigan State forward Raymar Morgan did not start because of sickness, but entered late in the second half and played three minutes...Stanley Pringle had 10 points for PSU...The Spartans made 42.6 of their field goals, and 11-of-15 foul shots, but only 5-of-20 three-point tries...Penn State next plays at Michigan on Thursday...MSU hosts Minnesota on Wednesday.
02/01 16:11:38 ET