TUCSON, Ariz. (KDKA/AP) — In a game that saw 10 lead changes during an intense second half, the Penn State Nittany Lions were eliminated from the NCAA tournament by the Temple Owls Thursday afternoon. It was the 92nd meeting between the two teams.
Talor Battle’s three-pointer from far behind the arc for Penn State tied it at 64-64 with 12.2 seconds to go.
“That’s what he’s done his whole career,” coach Ed DeChellis said. “He is just a great kid, a very competitive person.”
Battle’s basket would have been an NBA three-pointer with a few feet to spare.
“Right when I shot, it felt so good,” Battle said. “I saw Reggie Miller and them going nuts, so I figured I was pretty far when I shot.”
It was an ever-so-brief moment of elation for the Penn State star in his last college game.
Then, Temple in-bounded the ball and got it to Juan Fernandez who was double-teamed as time was running out and forced up an off-balance winning shot from his right foot while fading to his left just inside the three-point line. The clock read 0.4 seconds as the ball went through the net.
Fernandez and his teammate Ramone Moore scored 23 points each for the No. 7 seeded Owls.
Battle scored 23 for the 10th-seeded Nittany Lions in their first NCAA tournament appearance in a decade.
Battle, the second-leading scorer in the Big Ten, made three of his four three-pointers to lead the Nittany Lions to a 20-11 lead. In his final game with Penn State, he finished nine of 21 shooting, five of 11 on three-pointers.
Battle finishes his career as one of only three players in NCAA historyto score 2,000 points, 500 assists and 500 rebounds.
The Nittany Lions lost starting forward Jeff Brooks barely a minute into the second half with a dislocated right shoulder, the same injury that sidelined him for 10 days earlier this season.
Temple will now move on to the third round of the NCAA Tournament and face No. 2 seeded San Diego State in the West Regional Bracket.