Game Day Essentials
Indiana (14-5, 5-4) v. Penn State (8-8, 3-5)
- Tip Time: 8:30 p.m. Eastern
- Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana
- Television: BTN (Cory Provus and Jess Settles)
- IU Radio Network: IU Radio Network
- Stream: Fox Sports Live
- Point Spread: Indiana is an 8.5 point favorite
- KenPom Projected Score: No. 33 Indiana 66 No. 81 Penn State 59
- Series: Indiana leads 41-13, PSU won the last meeting 61-58 on Jan. 2.
Penn State Notes
Penn State’s defense has held 10 of its last 13 opponents at least 10 points under their season scoring averages entering the game. They currently have the No. 57 defense according to KenPom.
Four Nittany Lions are averaging double-digit points, led by Seth Lundy’s 13.7 ppg. Jalen Pickett (13.3 ppg) and Sam Sessoms (11.7ppg) follow, while John Harrar is nearly averaging a double-double with 10.1 ppg and 9.6 rpg. PSU currently has the No. 108 offense according to KenPom.
Harrar’s 9.6 rebounds per game rank second in the Big Ten and 20th nationally as of Monday.
Senior transfer Jalen Pickett is the only Big Ten player averaging at least 16.3 points and 4.1 assists per conference game thus far this season. Pickett owns the only points- assists double-double in a Big Ten game this season after registering 21 points and 10 assists against Purdue.
The average age of Penn State’s 15-man roster was 21.61 years old at the start of the season. Penn State is believed to be the sixth-oldest Division I team in the country this season, oldest Power 5 team, and oldest team in the Big Ten.
Offensively, the Nittany Lions are shooting 38.1 percent (74-194) from deep with an average of 9.3 made threes per game in Penn State’s eight wins. Penn State is shooting 29.0 percent (53-183) from downtown with an average of 6.6 treys per game in the Nittany Lions’ eight losses.
Defensively, the Nittany Lions give up an average of 8.6 threes per game while allowing their opponents to shoot 35.6 percent (69-194) from deep in the Nittany Lions’ eight losses. Penn State has held its opponents to a 31.0 percent (53-171) clip from downtown and 6.6 made threes per game in the Nittany Lions’ eight wins.
With a win the Nittany Lions would complete the regular-season sweep of the Hoosiers for the second time in program history and first time since 2009.
Penn State would earn its first win inside Assembly Hall since 2014. In last year’s meeting in Bloomington, Rob Phinisee hit a jumper with 13 seconds left and IU made a defensive stand as the Hoosiers escaped with an 87-85 overtime win against Penn State.
Three Keys to the First Meeting
Penn State won the season’s first meeting 61-58 on Jan. 2 at PSU. Jalen Pickett led the Nittany Lions with 15 points while Myles Dread and Sam Sessoms also contributed double-digits off the bench with 12 and 10, respectively. Indiana had a chance to take the lead and tie the game in the final seconds before falling on the road.
1. A big rebounding advantage for PSU. The Nittany Lions outrebounded IU 39-29 and had 11 offensive rebounds. John Harrar had 12 boards for the Nittany Lions, and as a team they had 11 second chance points. Seth Lundy also had 10 rebounds for PSU. Of particular note on the IU side, Trayce Jackson-Davis had just five rebounds in 34 minutes of action.
2. Hoosiers struggle from three, Penn State doesn’t. The Hoosiers made just 4-of-17, or 23.5 percent from deep. Meanwhile PSU had several timely threes and converted 11-of-22 on the game from behind-the arc. No one for IU made more the one from long range and leading shooter Parker Stewart was 0-of-2. He and Miller Kopp each only had two attempts from deep.
3. Poor defensive start to second half. A poor defensive effort to open the second half allowed Penn State to take a 51-41 lead with ten minutes to go. The Nittany Lions opened the half making 7-of-11 from the field including 3-of-4 from long range, and they scored 24 points in the first ten minutes of the half as IU struggled to guard ball screens. The Hoosiers did tighten up in the final ten minutes, which allowed them a chance at the end. But PSU only had five of their 13 turnovers in the second half.
(Note: Indiana rotation regular Trey Galloway did not play in the first meeting)
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