Another Nittany Lion Hoops Milestone
Eleven years into the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, the annual early season hoops tournament dominated by Atlantic Coast Conference schools, no Big Ten team had managed to win three straight games against ACC foes.
Until Monday night.
The Nittany Lions opened the 2009 Challenge Monday at Virginia, overcoming a six-point halftime deficit to record a 69-66 win. Junior guard Talor Battle led the way with 32 points—a school-record 28 of them coming in the second half—as the Lions built a 12-point lead, then fought off a late UVA rally for the win.
Penn State’s third consecutive win in the series comes after last year’s 85-83 victory at Georgia Tech, and a 66-61 defeat of Virgina Tech in 2007. The 2009 Challenge continues with five games tonight and five more on Wednesday, and observers say the Big Ten has its best chance to finally win a majority of the games. If so, the rest of the conference can thank the Nittany Lions for showing them how to do it.
Ryan Jones, senior editor