It started poorly. Turnovers. Overdribbling. Lack of energy. But we’ve been here before. The Hoosiers have had rough starts, overcome them, found their stride and cruised to victory. But they simply never recovered tonight. The offense, such a constant source of strength all Big Ten season, fell off a cliff at the Bryce Jordan Center.
How it happened: There’s no way to sugarcoat it: this was an evening to forget for Indiana. The Hoosiers scored just .96 points per possession and shot an effective field goal percentage of 45.6. The points per possession output was IU’s second worst so far in conference play. Indiana never really got momentum in State College as Penn State jumped out in front early thanks to 11 first half turnovers. Brandon Taylor was a major problem for the Hoosiers as he finished with a game-high 24 points and six rebounds. Indiana really had no answer for Taylor and also struggled to slow down Devin Foster, who finished with a career-high 13 points. This was a deflating loss, particularly for Indiana’s position in the race for the Big Ten title. A win would have set up a showdown for first place with Iowa next Thursday in Assembly Hall. But the Hoosiers didn’t take care of business and now face a brutal seven-game stretch to finish the regular season.
Indiana travels to Penn State looking for 10th Big Ten win
The last time Penn State played at home in the Bryce Jordan Center was January 21 against Wisconsin.
Saturday night, Indiana will visit Penn State in hopes of picking up its 10th conference victory, which would keep them atop the Big Ten standings and surpass last season’s conference win total of nine.
No. 22 IU will be coming off of a huge road victory over Michigan that included an incredible 28-0 run. It was a statement win against a top 50 team that could set the Hoosiers up for a run at the Big Ten regular season title.
Indiana is back on the road this weekend for a Saturday night primetime matchup with Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions are 11-12 overall and 2-8 in the Big Ten.
The game will be broadcast on BTN at 8 p.m. ET with Josh Lewin and Shon Morris on the call:
Tuesday’s win at Michigan was significant for Indiana for many reasons. First, it kept the Hoosiers on pace with Iowa at the top of the Big Ten standings. Both teams are 9-1 with a potential showdown looming next week at Assembly Hall for first place in the conference.
It was also a top 50 RPI road win, which provided a major boost to IU’s NCAA tournament resume. But perhaps most importantly, it was a win that should give Indiana even more confidence. The Hoosiers had three conference road wins going into Tuesday, but winning at Rutgers, Nebraska and Minnesota isn’t the same as winning at Michigan. Indiana went on the road against a solid opponent and won going away.
But now is not the time for Indiana to believe the hype or the press clippings. Since the 5-3 start, the Hoosiers have played like a group with something to prove and that trend must continue on Saturday in State College. Penn State, which has lost six of its last seven games, will be hungry for a win and Indiana must avoid looking ahead to the Iowa game on Thursday in Assembly Hall.
While Indiana certainly got hot and pumped in the points during its 25-0 run to end the first half against Michigan, its defense was equally impressive.
The Hoosiers got steals, blocks and deflections. They kept their hands up and challenged shots.
“Defense generates the offense,” Robert Johnson said after the game. “When everybody was in there playing with energy defensively, it translated on the offensive side and everybody got a part of the run.”
We’ll take a look at four defense into offense sequences for the Hoosiers during The Run in the latest edition of Film Session:
Zak Irvin gets a ball screen on the left wing as Juwan Morgan chases: