We know Indiana’s offense struggled in its loss to Penn State in Happy Valley.
But over the final 10 minutes of action, the Hoosiers also made a number of miscues on defense and the Nittany Lions capitalized to emerge victorious. It was IU’s second worst performance on D in terms of points per possession (1.05) in conference play.
We’ll take a look at the defensive missteps down the stretch in the latest edition of Film Session:
Brandon Taylor inbounds the ball to Julian Moore in the left corner:
Indiana suffered its most disappointing loss of the season so far on Saturday night as the Hoosiers fell 68-63 to Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center. It was just the third Big Ten win this season for Penn State and dropped IU to 19-5 overall and 9-2 in the Big Ten.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Nittany Lions:
· Indiana’s best player struggled, so the Hoosiers struggled: Indiana has one great player on its roster: Yogi Ferrell. There are other good players, guys who are potential pros and other role players who can make an impact on a given night.
But Ferrell is the engine that makes Indiana go. And when he struggles, as he did against Penn State in shooting 3-of-12 and committing five turnovers, Indiana is very beatable. As the chart below shows, Ferrell is scoring 2.1 points less per game in losses and his shooting percentages as well as assists take a dip. This isn’t a revelation, nor is it surprising, but it’s reality for a team that is highly dependent on its best player to perform in order to win.
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.
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.