Penn State stuns Indiana, 68-63

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It was sloppy, disjointed and unbecoming basketball from a Big Ten contender.

And Indiana paid the price.

The No. 22 Hoosiers suffered their worst defeat of the season Saturday, falling 68-63 to Penn State before an announced crowd of 10,351 at the Bryce Jordan Center.

At the end of IU’s first loss at Penn State since 2009, the Hoosiers were left to blame 15 turnovers, an offense that never clicked and their failure to handle Brandon Taylor — the Nittany Lions’ only true offensive threat.

Taylor scored a game-high 24 against Indiana (19-5, 9-2), which returns to Assembly Hall to host No. 5 Iowa on Thursday night.

Nick Zeisloft led IU with 14 points, while Yogi Ferrell added 13 and Thomas Bryant scored 10.

Indiana lacked poise for most of the night — especially early, committing eight turnovers in the first seven minutes. Those offensive miscues were coupled with the absence of Bryant, who picked up two quick fouls and sat for most of the half. Shortly after Bryant returned to the floor late in the period, he was whistled for his third personal leading into the final media timeout of the half.

Yet for all of Indiana’s mistakes, fouls and out-of-control offense, Penn State never led by more than two possessions through the first 20 minutes. The Hoosiers hung around — and eventually pulled ahead — with a flurry of 3-pointers. Credit Zeisloft — who scored nine of his points in the first half — with sinking a trio of well-timed perimeter shots. Much like Indiana’s ugly win last month at Minnesota, Zeisloft was there to keep the Hoosiers afloat while all else seemed to be sinking.

Indiana led 34-33 at halftime.

But Saturday’s trip to Happy Valley didn’t include the same edge as Tuesday’s trip to Michigan, where the Hoosiers used a 28-0 run to slam the door on their opponent. Beyond the turnovers, Indiana couldn’t put a cap on Taylor. He had 13 of those in the first half, but found himself slowed early in the second when IU coach Tom Crean inserted OG Anunoby to start the half and stuck him to Taylor.

The Penn State senior didn’t score his first basket of the half until the 9:34, at which point he rattled off eight of his team’s next 10 points to boost the Lions to a 55-50 lead with six minutes remaining in regulation. IU, meanwhile, was mired in a 2-for-13 stretch that helped cost it the game.

Julian Moore converted a three-point play with 1:13 remaining in regulation, leading Bryant to his fourth foul and putting Penn State ahead 64-61. For better and for worse, Bryant was part of the focus late in the contest. IU went to him often and he rewarded the Hoosiers with six points down the stretch.

But a critical mistake with IU trailing 65-63 and 24 seconds to play became part of IU’s undoing. Bryant posted up on the block, and as he turned to go up toward the rim, he was whistled for traveling. IU was forced to foul Shep Garner, who hit both of his free throws to boost the Lions’ lead to four.

Collin Hartman missed a 3-pointer on the other end and Penn State reclaimed possession with 11.4 second to play.

By then, it was all but over.

Indiana couldn’t take advantage of its success at the free throw line, where it went 20-for-26 after getting into the bonus with 12:42 left in regulation. Penn State was 10-for-16 at the line.

Indiana, which went 6-for-12 from 3-point range in the first half, went only 3-for-15 from beyond the arc in the final period.

8 comments

  1. Pretty typical regarding current era of IU men’s basketball. Teaser games and teaser win streaks that lack really big time wins. Not any real sustainable dominance. This era of IU basketball is usually good for a top 25 to 50 sustained ranking and sneaking into the top 20 once and a great while. Achieve top finish in big ten, a couple wins in big ten tournament and sweet 16 as the pinnacle standard of success for IU men’s basketball.

  2. Interesting comparison of basketball programs: IU men – current RPI 55, strength of schedule 174
    IU women current RPI 46 strength of schedule 33
    One of these programs prepared for Big Ten play, one did not.

  3. My prediction was backward. I figured IU would win one of these two road games, but I had them losing to Michigan and and beating Penn State. Now, we must win the next game.

  4. T…very well put. This game exemplified EXACTLY why no one outside IU basketball got excited about the wins…regardless of record; going forward this was a BAD loss and the continued play that leads to more losses only works to justify leaving IU at home for March Madness….as T said mediocrity is an acceptable STATE of affairs for this coach AND AD

  5. Exactly what I feared, the typical trap game. And we played the part to a T.

    Pts. In the paint: 26 – 14 PSU
    2nd chance pts.: 13 – 3 PSU
    Pts. Off TOs: 19-12 PSU
    TOs: 15 IU v. 7 PSU
    Yogi: 5 assists & 5 TOs

    We got outplayed and out hustled. That’s what the stats say.

    I still don’t understand why Troy plays the same amount of time as OG & Ziesloft, our only proven shooting threat last night. OG should’ve been on Thomas for the tip, it is obvious. Neither Hartman or Troy can play D. And although Troy only is credited with 2 TOs, his repeated poor shots and acrobatic destruction amount to far more. A poor shot is a TO.

    We’ll see, but Iowa & MSU are playing at their peaks right now & they’re both on deck.

  6. Anytime IU faces a strong post player, they are going to have trouble. They simply do not have enough strong defensive stoppers. Bryant has slow feet, and should develop over time. Hartman, Bielfeldt and Williams are not talented enough defensively. IU compensates when they shoot the ball, but on the days they do not, the outcome is bad. This was a game IU should have easily won but blame this one on poor shooting, poor ball handling and not recruiting enough high quality post players.

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