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Penn State Battles Back, Falls in Tucson

This would be the final game of Talor Battle's spectacular Penn State career, as the Nittany Lions suffered a painful first round exit at the hands of the Temple Owls.
This would be the final game of Talor Battle's spectacular Penn State career, as the Nittany Lions suffered a painful first round exit at the hands of the Temple Owls.

For about 12 seconds Thursday afternoon , it looked as if Talor Battle had done it again. With his team down three to the seventh-seeded Temple Owls and in desperate need of a bucket, Penn State's all-time leading scorer pulled up and launched a three from well beyond the arc. If you've ever watched Battle play during his career at Penn State, you weren't surprised when the ball swished neatly through the net.

But that's where the magic ended for Battle and the Nittany Lions, who were unable to duplicate their surprising run through the Big Ten Tournament as Temple's Juan Fernandez knocked down an 18-footer with 0.4 seconds left on the clock, propelling the Owls to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Penn State lost senior Jeff Brooks almost immediately following the start of the second half to a dislocated right shoulder, but remained in the game behind 23 points from Battle, while Tim Frazier added 15 along with five boards and seven assists.

Thursday's contest was a back-and-forth affair throughout a second half that saw 10 lead changes and neither team was able to stretch a lead beyond four points. The loss marked the end of their time in blue and white for four Penn State seniors: Talor Battle, David Jackson, Andrew Jones, and Steve Kirkpatrick, though arguably nobody has meant more to his team than Battle as he led the Lions to their first NCAA tournament berth in a decade.

Meanwhile, the Owls secured their first NCAA Tournament victory since 2001 and snapped head coach Fran Dunphy's NCAA-record 11-game losing streak in the Big Dance.