STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Talor Battle scored 31 points and eight rebounds, Jeff Brooks added 17 points and injury-depleted Penn State beat Duquesne 77-73 on Saturday night.
Andrew Jones added nine rebounds for the Nittany Lions (6-2), who lost forwards David Jackson and Billy Oliver during the game after separate collisions under the bucket.Penn State overcame a slew of early turnovers against high-octane Duquesne and an early seven-point hole by attacking the basket. Battle also found holes in Duquesne's defense for long jumpers and 3s.But the Dukes (3-3), who often played without a frontcourt player taller than 6-foot-7, hung around by scraping for loose balls and offensive rebounds and hitting from long range.Fresh off a 14-point loss Wednesday to No. 3 Pittsburgh, Duquesne shot 14 of 31 from the 3-point arc, led by five 3s from Bill Clark. He finished with 19 points.Clark's 3 with 4:18 left got Duquesne within two before a 6-0 run started by one of Battle's five 3-pointers and capped by Brooks' driving layup stretched the lead to 68-60 lead a minute later.Battle hit another deep 3 for an 71-63 lead with 2:23 left in what would be the senior's fifth career 30-point game of his standout career.Another 3 from Clark got Duquesne within four with less than a minute left, but the Nittany Lions held on despite going 3 of 6 from the foul line in the final 33 seconds.Clark added 10 rebounds, six on the offensive glass, while Damian Saunders had 23 points and seven boards.Trailing most of the game's first 10 minutes after getting careless with the ball, Battle's 3 capped a 7-0 run to tie the game at 18 with 9:03 left in the first half.Jackson departed after a hard foul early in the first half, walking off on his own after being tended to on the floor for a couple minutes. He was taken to a hospital as a precaution, and a team spokesman said the starting forward was day-to-day after being diagnosed with a neck strain.The Nittany Lions also played much of the second half without backup Oliver after a collision with Brooks and Duquesne's B.J. Monteiro for a rebound. The 6-foot-8 Oliver, who missed the previous two seasons because of concussions or headaches, returned to the bench but did not re-enter the game.