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Penn State Advances With 61-55 Win Against Indiana

Penn State's NCAA Tournament hopes will live for at least another 24 hours as the Nittany Lions knocked off pesky Indiana 66-55 Thursday evening in their first round game at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.

Jeff Brooks shook off a slow first half to lead Penn State in scoring with 15 points. He also tied for a team high with seven rebounds. Talor Battle never seemed to quite get in his groove, though he managed to finish with 13 points and Andrew Jones had a nice evening with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting to go along with seven rebounds.

Penn State found itself behind at points in the first half but managed to rally to take a one point lead at halftime. At that point, Brooks and Battle had only five points each. Both played better in the second half to gut out a win, though, and so did Penn State on its way to a relatively comfortable win after some tense early moments.

Now, Penn State faces a quick turnaround as it will take on third-seeded Wisconsin at roughly 9 P.M. Friday evening for a spot in the tournament semifinals. The Lions defeated the Badgers at the end of January in State College, but the Badgers were dominant in a 76-66 win at the Kohl Center Feb. 20.

How the Lions perform in that game may very well determine their postseason destiny. A win likely puts them right in the discussion for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth. A loss means they'll be sitting on their hands on Selection Sunday, at best, and more likely, they'll be headed to the NIT.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.