Penn State continued its run in the NIT with a 67-59 win over Notre Dame in a 64 possession game. Neither team turned it over - the two combined for all of 14 turnovers - but the Nittany Lions shot it just a hair better than the Irish (inside the arc, that is. From deep, the Lions were just 2-17. Yikes.). Leading the charge was (surprise, surprise) Talor Battle, who had 17 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. In fact, Penn State's Big Three combined for 42 of their 67 points, and 19 of their 32 rebounds. Box score.
Penn State fans are understandably upset with the Selection Committee's snub, but the fact that the Nittany Lions missed the Dance had to be especially tough given what is leaving State College after this season. Jamelle Cornley and Stanley Pringle will head on to other things, leaving Talor Battle to man the ship. Battle is certainly a great player, but even he can't replace the loss of those two all by himself. Without someone else stepping up, it might have been "2009 or Bust" for Penn State's campaign to make the NCAA Tournament. Last night, Andrew Jones put up an impressive 16 point, 15 rebound line - his third game in double figures in PSU's four NIT games. He had all of four in the 33 contests prior. Jones boasted a Shot% of around 10%, so it's unfair to expect him to replace Jamelle Cornley all by himself. But someone has to.
But that's all next year. Penn State still has a tournament to win. Thursday night they take on Baylor for the title.