Nov. 17, 2008

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -The New Jersey Institute of Technology suffered its 35th straight loss, the most of any Division I team, falling to Penn State 74-47 on Monday in the Philly Hoop Group Classic.

The Highlanders' 35th straight defeat passed the previous NCAA Division I record for consecutive losses set by Sacramento State between Dec. 22, 1997, and Jan. 27, 1999. NJIT last won on Feb. 19, 2007, and is 5-55 since moving to Division I two seasons ago.

School officials have said that the Highlanders won't go into the official Division I record book because they are in their final reclassifying year and will not be a full member of Division I until 2009-10.

"Obviously, we've got a really young team and we're trying to change the culture of our program," said first-year NJIT coach Jim Engles said. "We're a relatively new Division I school. I think we can compete physically, but we have mental breakdowns that we can't afford to have."

Talor Battle had 16 points to lead the Nittany Lions (2-0), while Brandon Lyn's 13 points and seven rebounds paced NJIT (0-2).

David Jackson added 13 points for Penn State, which pulled away following a sluggish first half. Leading 47-34 early in the second half, a 17-0 run by the Nittany Lions put the game out of reach.

"We were kind of walking around in mud the first half," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said. "We couldn't pass and catch the ball."

Justin Garris had 11 points for NJIT before fouling out.