Penn State Whips Indiana

Sixth-seeded Nittany Lions advance to face third-seeded Purdue Friday night in Indianapolis.

Conventional wisdom suggested Penn State needed an impressive win over Indiana in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament to maintain its NCAA Tournament standing.

The sixth-seeded Nittany Lions got the victory in question, crushing the 11th-seeded Hoosiers 66-51 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Thursday. PSU (22-10) now faces No. 3 seed Purdue (22-9) in a quarterfinal matchup Friday (9 p.m., BTN).

Penn State wasted no time dispatching the Hoosiers. Senior forward Jamelle Cornley scored 13 points in the game's first seven minutes as the Lions raced out to a 19-8 lead.

Even though leading scorer Talor Battle was slowed by an ankle injury and did not score in the first half, State led by as many as 18 (26-8) and never allowed the lead to dip below double figures.

“We just wanted to be aggressive,” Lion coach Ed DeChellis said on his postgame radio show. “That was an important part of what we wanted to do. We tried to be aggressive in attacking with the basketball.”

PSU led 38-25 at the break and opened the second half with an 11-3 burst to blow it open.

The lead reached 63-38 with seven minutes remaining before DeChellis pulled Cornley and Battle. Indiana rolled off 11 straight points.

Cornley finished with 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Pringle added 16 on a 6-of-12 effort from the field.

“I thought those two guys really played well,” DeChellis said.

Battle entered the game as the Big Ten's leading scorer. He twisted an ankle early in the game and was taken to the locker room for a tape job but returned in the first half. He took only three shots in the game, making one.

Battle did have six assists and four steals.

“I think he's OK,” DeChellis said. “We just tried to rest him and not play him too much because we have another one tomorrow.”

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