Final: Penn State 72, Iowa 74
Penn State would fall to 8-16 overall, and 0-12 in the Big Ten and Iowa improved to 16-9, and 5-7 in the Big Ten.
For the first time in a long, long time, Penn State played a good game. It was a fun game to watch, and they played well. This was a tight game from start to finish, with the margin never being higher than 12. Iowa won this game because they were able to hit free throws, they went 20-26 from the free throw line, and because they had the more athletic team. Melsahn Basabe had 4 blocks, including a crucial one in the final 30 seconds to prevent a game tying layup. The Hawkeyes’ leading scorer was Devyn Marble, with 22 points, while hitting 9 of his 11 foul shots. This game would come down to Jermaine Marshall heading to the line needing to make the first of his free throws, and more importantly, needing to miss his second free throw, because there was only 1.5 seconds left. If he makes the second free throw, Iowa gets the ball back and pretty much ends the game. Marshall would go to the line, make the first, then make the second. Even as he tried to miss it, it went in. Penn State found another way to lose a basketball game. It’s ironic that they lost a game against Nebraska because they failed to make free throws down the stretch, and they actually lost tonight because of an in-ability to MISS a free throw.
D.J. Newbill led Penn State with 26 points, going 11-20 from the field, while hitting 3 of his 5 three point attempts. He also added 8 rebounds. It was a game Newbill needed to have, he has struggled with his shot from behind the arc all season, only hitting 16% of his tries. Newbill’s back-court teammate, Jermaine Marshall, added a double-double, with 14 points and 10 assists. Sasa Borovnjak had one of the best games of his career, going 6-8 from the floor for 14 points. Sophomore walk-on Kevin Montminy went 2-2 from the floor, including a 3 pointer, to have 5 points.
It was a refreshing thing to see from this team, they have fought hard all season, and have nothing to show for it. They almost pulled off the upset tonight, but ultimately fell short, but it is a positive sign going forward. When this team hits shots, they can play with anybody. The only problem is that they hardly ever hit their shots.
At least I didn’t need to use this post as a tool to vent, for once. At least Penn State did better than Vegas thought they would do, the betting line on this game had Penn State +7, so they covered.
Sure, they are now 8-16 (0-12 in the Big Ten), but at least they showed some signs of life tonight. The Nittany Lions next game is at #4 Michigan on Sunday at 12:00 PM. Before that though, good luck to all the students participating in THON, have a great time.
#PrayForPennStateHoops has never been needed more than it will be needed on Sunday.