Badgers Will Face Penn State

Getting 80 percent of its scoring from its four senior starters, sixth-seed Penn State does just enough to outlast crowd-favorite Indiana, 61-55, setting up a quarterfinal match-up with No.13 Wisconsin Friday night.

INDIANAPOLIS - Penn State and Talor Battle's NCAA tournament dreams are still barely alive.

Playing in front of a partisan crowd, Battle knocked down over a pair of clutch free throws and David Jackson slammed home a dunk with eight seconds left to help the sixth-seed Nittany Lions survive with a 61-55 victory over 11th-seeded Indiana in the first round game of the Big Ten Conference tournament Thursday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Penn State (17-13) will play No.13 Wisconsin (23-7) in the final Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal contest tomorrow night at approximately 8 p.m.

The two teams split the regular season match-up, with Penn State winning in State College, 56-52, on Jan. 29 and Wisconsin winning in Madison, 76-66, on Feb.20.

Indiana (12-20) finishes the season on a nine game losing streak.

With his team leading by five in the final minute, Battle, a senior first-team All-Big Ten selection aiming to make his first national tournament, knocked down a pair of free throws to give Penn State a 59-53 lead with 30 seconds left.

The Nittany Lions relied on their seniors as Jeff Brooks scored 15, Battle added 13, Andrew Jones added 12 and Jackson chipped in with 9.

Indiana shot 48.9 percent from the floor compared to Penn State's 45.8 percent, but Nittany Lions shot 6 of 16 from 3-point range (37.5 percent) compared to the Hoosiers' 22.2 percent (4 of 18).

Neither team led by more than four points from the 11 minute mark of the first half until 15:33 of the second half, when Penn State made a 7-0 run, giving them a 53-44 lead, and never allowed Indiana to cut the lead under four, as Verdell Jones and Will Sheehey each missed open 3-pointers in the final four minutes that would have made it a one-possession game.

Sophomore Christian Watford was the only player in double figures for Indiana, scoring 15 points. The Hoosiers finish with their highest win total in three seasons under Tom Crean.


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