January 30, 2011

Battle Scores 20 in the 2nd Half, as Penn State Upsets Wisconsin

Penn State had a very a slow start against the Wisconsin Badgers yesterday but some relentless seniors led Penn State to beat their 3rd ranked opponent this season.

At one point Penn State was down by 13 in the first half but the deficit did not seem so intimidating. Penn State's offense was terrible in the first half as was their sloppy play but the Lions' zone defense was also forcing turnovers on the Badgers' side.

PSU was down 29-22 at halftime but their were reasons to be optimistic.
Talor Battle, who was 1-5 for 2 points in the first half, turned things around in the second half with an amazing 20 points. The intensity stayed high on defense as well. Penn State was swarming Wisconsin on defense which led to forced jumpshots.

Penn State took a 5 point lead with 4 minutes left and they did not look back as they held the Badgers off for a 56-52 win.
Penn State's Jeff Brooks (25) and Wisconsin's Keaton Nankivil
go after a loose ball in the first half. (AP Photo/John Beale)
One of the biggest differences was the crowd, and Ed DeChellis didn't hesitate to call it out after the game.

"It was a lot easier tonight when the place was filled you know - you make a play and the place erupts," DeChellis said.

"I really appreciate everyone coming today to support our team and support Coaches vs. Cancer. I thought it was a great Saturday afternoon for college basketball. It was great to get a win and hopefully everyone will be back for our game against Michigan."

The players didn't hold back either.

"It's crazy. At one point, we came out of a timeout and I looked at Tim and said, 'Let's go, let's get it going.' I just happened to look up and for the first time I saw people everywhere," Andrew Jones said after the game.

"I said, 'Tim, they really came out for us tonight. We gotta do what we gotta do. We have to win this game.' We came out as a team and we got it done."

Battle is the obvious MVP with 22 points but Brooks was playing angry on both sides with 12 points, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Andrew Jones also controlled the boards with an impressive 14 rebounds.

I am starting to hear whispers of March Madness around the Penn State campus but PSU still has a tough road the rest of the season with 6 games against currently ranked teams. Let's keep the optimism high and keep showing up the games to support the team.

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