Iowa 15-9 (4-7 in the Big Ten) at Penn State 8-15 (0-11 in the Big Ten)
Where: Bryce Jordan Center
When: Thursday, February 14, 9:00 PM
The second half of the Big Ten season has been upon us for a few weeks, so Penn State will be begin playing against teams that they have already lost to earlier in the season, and this will be one of those games. The Nittany Lions played at Iowa on January 31, losing 76-67. That game was full of turnovers and fouls, and even though Penn State began the game extremely hot, eventually taking a commanding 10-2 lead in the first 5 minutes, they couldn’t finish the job. They went on their patented extended scoring drought, and couldn’t get back in the game after that. D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall combined for 35 of Penn State’s 67 points at Iowa. Aaron White absolutely destroyed Penn State in that game, going off for 27 points.
For Penn State to win this game, they will need to slow the game down and keep it a halfcourt game, because if it becomes a transition game, Iowa is far too athletic for the Nittany Lions to keep up with them. Penn State can NOT turn the ball over, when a team isn’t making shots, the more shots they can actually get, the better chance they have of making some. D.J. Newbill (15.8 PPG) will need to lead the team in scoring, with Marshall being right behind him. Penn State’s back-court will likely need to score close to 40 points for Penn State to compete in this matchup. Penn State’s main focus on the defensive end will be to contain sophomore forward Aaron White (13.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG).
Penn State is 7-7 at home on the season, and Iowa is 1-6 away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena, so that stat should make you Penn State fans happy. Too bad Penn State didn’t beat anybody good at home, except for Bucknell. I still have no idea how this team was able to beat Bucknell.
The Nittany Lions average only 60.3 points per game, dead last in the Big Ten, while Iowa averages over 11 more per game, at 72.2 PPG. Penn State is coming in to this game in the midst of an 11 game losing streak, winless in the Big Ten, and having been outscored 751 to 603 in conference games so far.
This will be the Nittany Lions’ last game before THON, a student-run event that fights pediatric cancer, and it does a damn good job. Penn State head coach, Pat Chambers, is begging for students to show up to this game, and to stay the entire game, he’s even decided to donate $10 to THON for every student that attends this game. So, students, take 2 hours and head to the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday night, Penn State might not be very good, or even all that fun to watch, but watching basketball has to be better than studying…right?
My prediction: Iowa 74, Penn State 65