Indiana holds off Penn State, 76-73

He was the last player to walk out of the tunnel connecting Indiana’s locker room to the playing floor before Tuesday’s game, moving with a pronounced limp and wearing street clothes as he watched his teammates run through warmups in front of him.

After suffering a knee injury in Monday’s practice that will sideline him indefinitely, Hanner Mosquera-Perea took a seat at the end of Indiana’s bench, while his teammates spent their evening on the floor learning how to move forward without him.

In a season that has already seen Indiana find ways to reinvent itself with a smaller, guard-oriented lineup, that process becomes even more magnified in Mosquera-Perea’s absence. As they navigated the latest twist in a season full of them, the Hoosiers needed all 40 minutes and a late second-half push to hold off a punchy Penn State squad, 76-73, at Assembly Hall.

Robert Johnson turned in a game-high 20 points for Indiana, falling one point shy of tying his career high. Troy Williams added 15 points and Stanford Robinson came through with 12 points off the bench.

IU coach Tom Crean opted to start Collin Hartman in place of Mosquera-Perea, keeping freshman Emmitt Holt on the bench. Holt played 13 minutes, finishing with only one point and zero rebounds.

The Hoosiers (13-4, 3-1 Big Ten) were outrebounded 37-30 and finished with only six offensive rebound, including three from walk-on Ryan Burton. The Bedford product sparked Indiana with his hustle midway through the second half, helping turn a 51-51 tie at the 12:03 mark into a 12-point Indiana lead five minutes later.

Much like last year’s meeting in Bloomington, the Nittany Lions continued coming back at the Hoosiers. They outscored IU 7-3 over the final two minutes to cut the final margin to three points.

Penn State had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds but a 3-pointer by D.J. Newbill missed the mark and Brandon Taylor’s last ditch heave from beyond the arc didn’t get off in time.

24 comments

  1. Once again, a win is a win in the Big Ten. At least we are 3-1 going into what looks to be a brutal stretch here. If we win 1 of the next 4, it would be an achievement at this point. It just doesn’t look too good for us ahead. Perhaps we get Illinois but until we get to Rutgers at home I think we are in for a long two weeks.

    It was good to see Johnson get more minutes and play even better tonight. He’s a tough kid and about the only one we have that can play a lick of defense. It was also good to see Hartman have the guts to take a couple of open 3s and play solid in the paint. Disappointing to see Holt get his chance and really do nothing with it. It was his time to seize-the-day and he looked slow and disoriented.

    Unfortunately Blackmon has one thing on his mind…shooting and scoring. He has no awareness at times with the ball, letting it get knocked away from behind on many occasions. His, dare I say, “defense”, is simply atrocious. He’s the kind of player that gives up about what he puts in, so he’s one of those net zero type guys. By far Johnson is a better all around player.

    Our perimeter defense is porous. The guards can’t stop anyone and once their guy is past them we put up no resistance in the paint. No size, no footwork, no blocking out technique. Watch the poor job of blocking out that is done while we are on defense. It makes our lack of size even more of an achilles heel.

    Unfortunately Perea got hurt, but there’s no time like the present to build some depth and heart with what we have left. He wasn’t playing much or contributing much anyway of late, often with 2 fouls before the first TV timeout. Maybe he’ll learn something while sitting and watching.

  2. Perea, last night’s game showed you will be missed in the post. So I hope you will recover quickly though returning only when you are fully functional.

  3. Nicely stated, AWinAZ. And I, too, send my best wishes to Perea hoping for a full recovery. These next two weeks are going to be exciting.

  4. if we are waiting for hanner to return “only when fully functional” we could be here a few years.

    i think we can all agree blackmon will be here for at least a few years because he has zero chance of playing in the nba. every time he puts the ball on the floor it’s like the second coming of jeremy hollowell. a turnover or blocked shot waiting to happen. of course, he makes up for it with no vision or ability to find open teammates while driving. at least he hustles and plays outstanding defense, which as crean repeatedly tells us, leads to his offense. if he were not a mcdonalds all-american, i wonder if crean would still be playing him so much?

  5. Great comments AWinAZ ! It is getting hard to watch ! Our defense is horrible to say the least. What happened to the extra pass were doing in the beginning that freed up our shooters? The 360 circus play will not work against a good team . Our turnover machines Robinson and Williams seem to be playing offense only cannot guard anyone! However Robinson and our walk on who works his butt off bailed us out .Seven years and we still cannot inbound the ball! CTC will use Hanner as a excuse from hear on out. Penn State never quit you have respect that! Johnson was awesome!

  6. Blackmon is Bradley Beal without the explosiveness. I think that means he will have no choice but to stay 3 years… which is great news for IU. He’ll continue to improve, become more consistent, get stronger, and become more well-rounded. I’m not sure how much more explosive he’ll become however, which seems to limit his NBA potential. I’m glad he’s a Hoosier and I’m glad he’ll be here a bit. As Harvard would say, “who cares about the NBA…”

  7. I think he’s off to the NBA after this season…..True scorer….After he amasses ’10 Freshman of the Week’ awards and seizes the big stage of an NCAA tournament, I think there will be plenty of interest to take it to the next level…….Would love him to stay, but I think not.

    But you’re the expert….especially when it comes to the National Babes Association…of interesting men

  8. Basically, this thread is pretty much evidence that Hoosier fans know what the h___ they’re talking about when it comes to basketball, most comments are specific in stating the reader’s criticism and are pretty non-compromising about their expectations.

    Not sure I agree on Blackmon. Zero chance he’ll ever learn how to play defense simply because he’s doesn’t seem to understand there is any point (or NBA cash) to it ; nor, is he interested in playing on offense with four other guys wearing the same shirt…after all,(Blackmon speaking): “… isn’t the point of it all that they recruited these other guys to feed me[Blackmon] the ball.” Fans should call him ‘Coldheart’, for his notable lack of passion. I doubt that reading a HarvardforHillbillies heart rendered ‘Ode to a Hoosier kid’, or being drilled for five hours by Coachv would help. It-just-doesn’t-tick!

  9. Why is Blackmon such a target of criticism lately….? I like the kid…Give him a chance…He is very, very skilled.

  10. Harv, I need to get checked into a mental institution because I think this is like the tenth time I’ve agreed with you unequivocally this week.

    Reading folks throwing JBJ under the bus has been a bit of a disappointment. He’s not quite as rounded a scorer as a guy like Eric Gordon was as a frosh. Gordon could shoot, was an explosive driver and could create his own shot. JBJ is still learning the latter 2. Gordon was physically much more developed. Even if JBJ spends all day everyday in the weightroom, he just isn’t built like Gordon.

    I guess when you come in with phenom status, people expect immediate and consistent god-like results (no reference to Joyce Meyers). As you say, he’s really skilled and he’ll be fine. I’m with you. I think he has a Steph Curry-type ceiling, but he needs some refinement in his game to get there.

    I still love me some JBJ.

  11. HfH, DoubleDown…in my case it has nothing to do with the absence of skills, etc. I see a player who seems to ignore a ‘role’ on his team, and seems disinterested in playing defense. Call me old fashioned, but I can’t stand selfish play. I also remember his dad, who I thought was one of the keys to good Kentucky teams, and I looked forward to watching Jr. play, but I find few common traits between the two. If he eventually changes, I’ll be happy but I don’t hold out much hope. We’ll see him keave for the NBA before he becomes a Hoosier. Just an opinion.

  12. You should probably get off of generics and go back to brand varieties……of five leaf.

    You’re right, DD…Not the explosiveness of Gordon(though prior to Gordon’s many knee and other injury issues…there wasn’t an athlete I can remember of such natural ability combined with basketball versatility, and the incredible power to the rim as witnessed in EJ)…Blackmon is closer to something like Iverson….(probably too high of praise) ..Just a thing of beauty in smoothness and game instincts from living every childhood moment on a basketball court…..And his stroke is effortless….Gordon had range, but Blackmon’s is pure and nearly poetic in release….He sets up beautifully in preparation for the long bombs….A little overconfident going in among the trees, but he has enough in his repertoire to adjust for lack of explosiveness and size…..He’ll figure it out…maybe utilize more floaters and indirect paths to the glass.

    I really don’t know if he’ll be a huge success at the next level(where size and power may be to his detriment), but I’m still a huge fan of his “too cool for school” moxie born of Indiana gyms, the gray racing stripe in the hair, and his obvious belief he has an edge via mere gifts and time on the hardwood that is undeniable when you watch him turn movement and round ball into art….There are going to be many college players more physically ready for the next level, but few that can encapsulate what I believe to be a true “baller.” Blackmon has the “it factor” of basketball talent/swagger that you just don’t see much anymore…..My favorite of yesteryear was Dr. J. or a Bob Love….or maybe a Chet Walker…or maybe a Gail Goodrich….or Earl Monroe…Guys that just were damn cool and damn good within the unique games they brought within a unique day no longer the NBA. Was Dr. J really explosive…? Hell no…He was just art in motion…The streets of his youth just oozing out an “it factor” that could never be replicated…and deceptively athletic..maybe it was explosive…His mesmerizing grace and ability certainly exploded something upon my memory cells that I have yet to see anything comparable…A Michal Baryshnikov of basketball.

    Anyway….When ballers don’t have the freakish athleticism/size to play at today’s next level, I still don’t discount the hours and the art when I see “it factor.” Just my opinion….for what it’s worth.

  13. I just don’t see this selfishness you’re talking about, Tsao…..I would let this young man shoot the ball any damn time he’s got a good look…..I’ve seen far too many bricklayers in Indiana uniforms that don’t hesitate to chuck up ugly messes that have far less odds of finding the bottom of the net….A scorer is recruited to shoot the ball. And he passes the ball plenty….And some of his greedy teammates(some pampered by a mother constantly bragging of their “crossover” greatness forever using twitter to publicly sell their son’s godlike presence on McCracken) actually don’t look for him enough…..

    Greed comes in many forms….There are some Hoosiers that stay for two or three years in candy stripes before bolting to the NBA that play the game greedy and egocentrically and savior-like….They care nothing more of banners at Assembly and developing true team chemistry to get to those banners…Utilize your shooters…That is the reason you brought one of the best pure shooters this state has had to offer in many years to wear candy stripes…I hope we didn’t bring him to watch Yogi dribble or run around screens never seeing the ball while some play Ambidextrous Man of Stan…

  14. We got Steve Aflord the ball…….Get the ball to Blackmon…..Don’t let Establlishment and “the kid from the East is the beast” jealousy stand in the way

    And Alford’s son plays way better defense than Brillo ever played…..But there’s a lot of jealousy aimed at the son of an Indiana coach/legendary shooter that played under Knight…Watch two minutes of Walton doing color on ESPN for a UCLA game and you can just see the jealousy pouring out his jealous tongue…They don’t look for Bryce enough on the perimeter…Bryce can shoot the rock…It’s in the Alford genes…

    And there’s a lot of jealousy currently being aimed at JBJ…It has absolutely noting to do with basketball or lack of effort….It takes a hell of a lot more effort to get yourself set up for a good look than most can begin to realize….It’s very disheartening when that effort is not rewarded with an honest look to get you the ball.

  15. I’ll shut up after this point, as well….

    Hulls went to unbelievable effort to get open….His defense was often overly and unfairly criticized via ignorance…He not only had physical size limitations but his effort to get into position and get open on the perimeter was simply exhausting to even watch…(especially within the goofy aimless circling from top to baselines in Crean’s magical weaves and movement without purpose)….All but the most long distance gazelles of basketball track meets would be taxed on the defensive end….Wings and dribblers don’t have to go to equal effort in the offensive sets of Crean’s limited knowledge…It’s more like a stand…receive…slash….and go. It’s no miracle that they can have more in the tank when they defend….

  16. Over the entire season thus far, Blackmon has only shot the ball 15 more times than Ferrell…(100 and 85 attempts respectively)…

    Defensive effort…? Blackmon leads the team in total rebounds(95) and defensive boards(69)….He can get up and he obviously has eliminated a sizable amount of second chance points for our opponents via a great nose for the ball amongst much taller trees….There is some boost because of minutes, but that’s still pretty damn impressive and attests to his athletic ability and instincts..

  17. HfH, no argument from me on Yogi…none. I’m bothered by his ball handlingl, passes into the second balcony, and sloppy point… Multiply (YF) (JBJ)= It’s not Indiana.

  18. ‘Creans magical weaves’ & ‘Movement without purpose’

    Waiting for a sportscaster to mention either. Or a player post interview…..’Well, the CMW was not working for us tonight so we went into the MWP and that saved the day.’

  19. south – that was actually funny. I don’t want to be the guy that I’m friends with on facebook that shares every anti-Obama “joke” and thinks they are hilarious simply because he hates Obama even though the “joke” is predictable/unoriginal/stupid… So I’m not “liking” your post because it’s anti-Crean, but because it was clever.

  20. “Crean’s magical weaves and movement without purpose” is harvard’s most astute basketball observation to date. of course he cancels it out by comparing blackmon to iverson.

    blackmon scores a lot because he shoots a lot. that’s all. his shooting % continues to plummet and he leads the country in having his shot blocked. remember bracey wright anyone?

  21. maybe that’s it….That cat reference was o.k. on Oct. 9, 2013…But now I guess it’s a banned substance…? Let’s try this:

    coachv #2

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013 – 11:03 PM EST

    do what you think is best for me and take it to Kentucky like your old man. and take that Josie and the pricecats hair with you. hard feelings? you bet. an Indiana kid who doesn’t love iu? you can keep him. coincidentally, I attended marion high my last two years of high school. what a great place for hoops back then with 7000 strong at every game.

  22. Hate…Hate…Hate….Hate….You are so astute….but you do leave quite the amount of ass-toot behind your big brain.

  23. A dedication to Blackmon’s magical baller skills and the magical weave of Crean’s knitting needles that puts more magic into his Hoosier candy stripes….Run, Junior, run…See Junior run…See Junior run to the spot…See Junior run some more…See Junior never run off a backdoor…See Junior run again to the spot…Run, spot, run…See Junior get very tired..See Junior get tired legs under his Junior jump shot that never gets the ball at the opportune time of an opportune spot..See Junior pull down more rebounds than every hardworking taller Hoosier on the floor…It s magic! It’s astute!…It’s 1977 and we just hung a banner! Eff U Kentucky!

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