Talor Battle scored 28 of his 32 points in the second half and Penn State withstood a furious rally by host Virginia in the final minute to beat the Cavaliers, 69-66, last night in the opener of the Big Ten-ACC challenge.
The Nittany Lions (5-2) led, 55-43, with about 4 minutes left, but a banked-in three-pointer by Sylven Landesberg and three by Sammy Zeglinski in the final 1:31 got the Cavaliers to within 67-66 with 5.7 seconds left before Battle's two free throws produced the final score.
Penn State became the first Big Ten team to win three straight in the annual matchup of conferences. The Nittany Lions beat Virginia Tech in 2007 and won at Georgia Tech last year.
Landesberg led Virginia (4-3) with 18 points, Mike Scott had 17 and Zeglinski 16, including 11 in the final 1:17. He missed a leaning three-pointer for the tie at the buzzer.
Penn State was 6-for-6 at the line in the final minute until Battle missed a pair of foul shots with 15.7 seconds left, and then made just 1 of 2 with 9.8 seconds left as Virginia rallied.
Zeglinski, out of Penn Charter, made two at the line with 11.4 seconds left to get Virginia to 66-63, and after Battle's one free throw, Zeglinski hit about a 24-footer to pull Virginia within one.
The Cavaliers led 27-21 at halftime, but Battle scored 10 points and had two assists in a 23-7 run to open the second half, giving the Nittany Lions a 44-34 lead. They led the rest of the way by a comfortable margin until Zeglinski made it interesting in the last minute.
Battle hit five three-pointers in the half. Tim Frazier added 11 points for Penn State.
In other games:
* At Kentucky, DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the No. 5 Wildcats to a 94-57 win over UNC-Asheville. John Wall added 12 points and a school freshman-record 14 assists for Kentucky (7-0).
* At Syracuse, Wes Johnson scored 19 points, Andy Rautins hit three three-pointers to help key an early surge and the No. 8 Orange (7-0) beat Colgate, 92-58. Johnson also had a game-high nine rebounds and five assists. Rautins finished with nine points, eight assists and four steals.
* At Georgetown, Greg Monroe scored a season-high 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, Chris Wright added a season-high 18 points and the No. 16 Hoyas (5-0) routed Mount St. Mary's, 83-62.