April 2, 2009

COL BKB: Penn State 69, Baylor 63

Jamelle Cornley led a second-half surge Thursday that brought Penn State a 69-63 win over Baylor and the championship of the National Invitation Tournament.

Penn State, which finished sixth in the Big Ten this season, defeated George Mason, Rhode Island, Florida, Notre Dame and the surprising Baylor Bears to capture the title.

The Nittany Lions (27-11) faced a four-point deficit at halftime, but Cornley came through with 18 points and Penn State pulled away by making 54 percent of its shots in the second period.

Talor Battle added 12 for Penn State and both David Jackson and Stanley Pringle had 10.

Penn State broke the game open by going on a 14-3 run over a five-minute stretch that ended with a 3-pointer by Jeff Brooks. That gave the Nittany Lions a 46-37 lead with 10:36 to play.

LaceDarius Dunn led Baylor (24-15) with 18 points. The Bears, despite winning just five regular-season games in Big 12 Conference play, won three times in the league tournament to come within one triumph of making it to the NCAA tourney.

After losing to Missouri in the Big 12 final, the Bears defeated Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Auburn and San Diego State to get to the NIT title game.