STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Mike Walker scored 17 points and Talor Battle hit a key bucket down the stretch as Penn State held off a late rally to defeat Virginia Tech, 66-61, in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday night.
The Hokies had whittled down a 13-point deficit and gotten within 50-49 before Walker's heroics. He grabbed a loose ball for a layup, then 13 seconds later hit a jumper after a Jamelle Cornley backcourt steal to give Penn State a 58-51 lead with 5:27 left.A.D. Vassalo got the Hokies within 60-59 before Battle hit a runner in the lane with 40 seconds left. David Jackson and Cornley each hit late free throws to seal the win for Penn State.The ACC still claimed overall victory in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the ninth straight year, with ACC teams going 8-3 this season.Battle and Jackson finished with nine points apiece for Penn State (3-3), while freshman Jeff Allen paced the Hokies (2-3) with 18 points and 14 rebounds.Penn State led by as many as 13 in the first half before Deron Washington scored six straight points during a 15-5 run that drew the Hokies within 50-49.But Virginia Tech could never break through to take the lead thanks in large part to Walker, who was 7-of-13 shooting off the bench, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range.Penn State rebounded from an 0-3 showing at the Old Spice Classic tournament in Orlando, Fla., over the Thanksgiving weekend.At least Virginia Tech finally gets to go home. The Hokies, who went 1-2 at the Great Alaska Shootout last weekend, haven't played in Blacksburg since their season-opening win over Elon on Nov. 9.