FINAL: (7)Indiana 72-Penn State 49
Yikes. Ouch. Mercy. All words that can describe what we just watched. Also words that have been used far too often this season. Although this was very much expected, and it actually could have been much worse (I’ll explain why later on), it still hurts, and quite honestly, it’s humiliating. I don’t know what was worse actually, the game itself or the frequent mentions of the Harbaughs. So, time to actually recap this game:
Penn State sophomore 2 guard-converted-point guard, D.J. Newbill got off to a rocky start, thanks to suffocating defense from Hoosiers freshman, Yogi Ferrell. He ended up getting his points and rebounds, although, in the midst of a blowout. He finished with a team high 18 points, a team high 7 rebounds, and a team high 4 steals. Did I mention he led the team in several statistical categories? I did? I didn’t mention his assists, because he had one…..he also had 8 turnovers. Jermaine Marshall ended with 12 points on 5-11 shooting, he also added 6 rebounds. In what was somewhat surprising, Marshall, in my opinion, wasn’t aggressive enough, especially in the second half. On a regular basis, I think Marshall plays out of control and overly-aggressive, but not tonight. I like the out of control, overly-aggressive Marshall more. Trying to find a “bright” spot for Penn State after this one is tough, but I think I found one silver lining: Indiana was a 24 point favorite, Penn State only lost by 23!
Penn State’s defense was also very effective against Cody Zeller, they went with the 2-3 zone for a lot of the game, especially in the first half. Zeller finished with only 2 points, he didn’t make a single field goal. He was 0-4 from the field, and made 2-4 free throws. He added 8 rebounds and 3 blocks, but holding him to 2 points was outstanding. Victor Oladipo was the biggest threat for Indiana tonight, adding 19 points.
It was a 14 point game at halftime, but in the second half, Penn State forgot how to defend the three point shot, again. It has been a thorn in Penn State’s side all season. Indiana finished 11-20 from behind the arc. Personal fouls didn’t help Penn State either, it was very one sided. I’m not blaming the refs, at all, Indiana was a more aggressive team today, Penn State committed 29 fouls, and IU only committed 16.
Now, to answer how this game could have been much more of a blowout, as I referenced in the first paragraph: Indiana shot 37 free throws. I repeat: THIRTY-SEVEN free throws. They only made 21. That is 16 free points IU didn’t capitalize on. Penn State would go 13-18 from the line.
Another frightening stat, Indiana out-rebounded Penn State 37 to 27, something Penn State simply can’t afford to have happen when trying to pull off a miraculous upset in Bloomington.
Penn State fell to 8-11 overall (0-7 in the Big Ten), while Indiana would improve to 17-2 overall (5-1 in the Big Ten). Penn State will return home to the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes.
To summarize, Penn State had trouble making shots, even the open ones, again. Story of the Penn State season right there.