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Men: Penn State, Baylor reach NIT final

Men: Penn State, Baylor reach NIT final

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NEW YORK -- The Penn State Nittany Lions and the Baylor Bears will play for the National Invitation Tournament championship Thursday night.

Penn State's Talor Battle scored 17 points, Andrew Jones had career highs of 16 points and 15 rebounds, as the Nittany Lions hung on after squandering a big lead in a 67-59 victory over Notre Dame in their semifinal game Tuesday night.

Jamelle Cornley added 15 points and Stanley Pringle had 10 for Penn State (26-11), which set a school record for wins in a season.

Cheered on by football coach Joe Paterno, the Nittany Lions beat one of their former gridiron rivals at their own game, relentlessly pounding Luke Harangody inside and harassing sharpshooter Kyle McAlarney whenever he touched the ball on the perimeter.

Harangody, a second-team All-American, finished with 17 points to lead the Irish (21-15).

In the other semifinal, Curtis Jerrells scored 25 points and LaceDarius Dunn had 23, leading the once-downtrodden Baylor Bears into the championship game.

Kevin Rogers added 15 points for Baylor (24-14), which has won seven of its last eight games and matched the 1947-48 team -- which lost in the national championship game -- for the second-most wins in school history.

This is the Bears' first team trip to New York since losing in the third-place game of the 1950 Final Four.

Kyle Spain scored 15 points to lead San Diego State (26-10), which long ago set a school record for wins in a season. San Diego State -- the last of the NIT's four No. 1 seeds to fall -- won more games in this tournament than it had in its previous nine postseason appearances combined.

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