Notebook: Hoosiers can’t stop Taylor in loss at Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Turnovers proved to be the key statistic at the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday night as No. 22 Indiana fell to unranked Big Ten foe Penn State, 68-63. The loss dropped the Hoosiers to 19-5 and 9-2 in the conference.
Indiana turned the ball over 15 times, while the Nittany Lions only coughed it up on seven occasions. Penn State forward Brandon Taylor, who notched a game-high 24 points, attributed Indiana’s trouble with keeping possession to the Lions’ ability to speed the Hoosiers up and get them out of rhythm.
However, Indiana coach Tom Crean didn’t see it that way.
“I saw a different game,” Crean said. “I saw us have some unforced turnovers. But, he might be right. He’s the winner, they get to see what they see and I’ll watch the film and see what we have to get better at. I thought a couple times we just tried to make some plays that weren’t there.”
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.