STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — After 13 straight losses in opponents’ gyms, Indiana finally got itself a true road victory on Thursday, knocking off Penn State 67-61 at the Bryce Jordan Center.
After blowing a 15-point lead to Minnesota on Sunday before rallying back to win that game in overtime, the Hoosiers seemed to have much more confidence on the road than they had in their first two Big Ten road games this season. They lost junior guard and defensive ace Jeremiah Rivers to a foul-out with 6 minutes to go, and blew an 11-point first half lead, but never trailed and held on for the victory.
“That’s probably where Sunday came back to help us even quicker than what you might think,” Crean said. “You never know what experiences you’re going to take from a game and when they’re going to come up again, but I think it did. There was no panic in our guys’ voices. There was no deer in the headlight look.”
Senior guard Devan Dumes played more under control than he has all season, scoring 15 points to lead the Hoosiers. Sophomore guard Verdell Jones had 14 points, including a 3-pointer and fadeaway jumper down the stretch that sealed the victory for Indiana. Freshman forward Christian Watford had 11 points and nine rebounds, including two offensive rebounds that turned into Jones’ crucial buckets.
It was Indiana’s first true road victory in Tom Crean’s two-years at Indiana and the first for the Hoosiers since they won at Northwestern on Feb. 23, 2008.