Lions Show Heart in V-Day Victory

Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said his team and staff were miserable after Penn State dropped three games in a row. Thanks to Talor Battle, the Nittany Lions escaped from the rut of misery against Minnesota in a Valentine's Day showdown.

Talor Battle, the sophomore co-captain, who had struggled in Penn State's previous three games led the Nittany Lions with 21 points, including four 3-pointers in Penn State's 68-63 win over Minnesota today at the Bryce Jordan Center.

"He made some great plays tonight," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said. "Second half especially, he made some game-winning basketball plays."

It was Battle who gave momentum to the Nittany Lions at the end of a first half marred by fouls, turnovers and traveling calls.

In the first half, the Golden Gophers and Nittany Lions were called for traveling seven times.

"It seemed like the walk was the call of the night in the first half," DeChellis said. "I thought they were giving out free ice cream at the Creamery or something."

That half ended with a Battle 3-pointer. After Battle turned the ball over, freshman guard Chris Babb intercepted a pass at midcourt, found Battle at the right wing and Battle nailed the three as time expired.

The half-ending 3-pointer was just the beginning of Battle's impressive play. With all 12,148 fans on their feet, Battle hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 2:30 left in the game. He then sealed the game in the final minute after stealing the ball from Minnesota's Devoe Joseph, went all the way to the basket, laid the ball in the hoop and drew a foul.

Unlike last weekend where the Nittany Lions went 0-for-14 at the 3-point line against Wisconsin, the 3-point line was friendly to Penn State as it finished 11-for-23 beyond the arc.

Penn State played without guard Danny Morrissey, who was not dressed. DeChellis said that Morrissey's knee was swelling and painful. Morrissey tried to practice Friday but could not. DeChellis listed Morrissey's status as day-to-day.

Babb and fellow freshman Cammeron Woodyard stepped up in Morrissey's spot. Babb had eight points while Woodyard added seven.

"Both of them did some great things tonight," DeChellis said. "Camm's shot kind of rolled in for us....Chris made a couple of shots, so we're going to try to continue to get those guys more time.

Battle's play with help from the freshmen ended a three-game losing streak for Penn State(18-8, 7-6 Big Ten).

"Coach kept preaching 'Put the pole in the ground,' it's gotta stop sometime and today, we came out with a lot of effort," Battle said.


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