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March 12, 2011INDIANAPOLIS - Penn State senior guard Talor Battle finally got what he's been after for so long on Friday night.
A win in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.
Surpassing Jesse Arnelle's 56-year old all-time career scoring mark of 2,138 points for the Nittany Lions? Not as important.
Struggling to find any success against No. 13-ranked Wisconsin on Conseco Fieldhouse's unforgiving baskets, Battle finally connected on a 3-pointer with just 2:24 left to give the Lions a seemingly insurmountable 35-30 lead. With it, he scored the 2,140th point of his career, and finally put to rest a subject he's been dying to move past since before the season began.
"I'm just happy all that stuff is out of there," Battle said. "Now there's no more records to be caught. Now ya'll can't ask me how it feels to beat this... this record is it right here. They're all done with.
"With the wins, that will all come, and we won. I shot 3 for 18, horribly, but I got the record and I'm happy."
Truly, the 7 points he needed to break the record seemed like they might not come. Nailing his first attempt of the game to give the Nittany Lions a 3-0 lead just 13 seconds in, Battle was shut down by Wisconsin guard Jordan Taylor. In fact, Battle missed his next 10 shots, needing 14 minutes 17 seconds before hitting a runner in the lane.
He would go on to miss five of his next six shots to finish as the Lions' leading scorer with 9 points on just 3 for 18 shooting from the field and a 2 for 9 clip from beyond the arc.
Still, by the time Battle dropped Jeff Brooks' outlet pass as the clock expired so he could hug his head coach, Ed DeChellis, the real achievement of Battle's night was completed.
Needing to advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament to even be considered for an at-large bid to this month's NCAA Tournament, Battle and the Lions took a huge step toward their goal.
"It's an unbelievable honor for him, but I think for him, he would trade it all for an opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament," DeChellis said.
This afternoon, Battle will have another chance to show he belongs as the Nittany Lions take on 7th seed Michigan State at approximately 4 p.m. The game will be televised to a national audience on CBS.
According to senior teammate Jeff Brooks, the Spartans offer Battle an opportunity to build on his latest achievement.
"We're going to do whatever we have to do so he can go further with that record and extend it a little bit," he said.
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