Wins on the road in Big Ten play have seldom been seen this year and Indiana will have to wait until Saturday for another chance to capture their second road win of the season after falling 64-49 to No. 24 ranked Penn State on Wednesday night.
Coming into today, the Hoosiers had been steadily improving offensively, but that trend changed dramatically at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park.
In their last three games, IU put up their second, third, and fourth most points in a conference game this season. IU had scored 82, 67, and 76 points over their last three contests, while going 2-1 over that span.
But Indiana produced just 21 second half points, and Indiana’s head coach had harsh words for his team’s effort on the offensive end.
“Offensively we were bad,” Archie Miller said after the game. “And when you talk to the team after the game there is not a lot to talk about other than in the second half we just played terrible.”
In a game where no team established control early, with the largest lead held by either team in the first half being four, Indiana was on the wrong end of a Penn State run midway through the second period.
With Penn State leading 42-35 with 10:14 remaining after a Lamar Stevens made free-throw, the Nittany Lions went on a 19-6 run to blow the game open and take a 61-41 lead with just over three minutes left.
A large part of that run can be attributed to Penn State’s active hands defensively, forcing Indiana into 18 total turnovers for the game. In turn, Penn State was able to get out and run in transition. Pair that with IU shooting 9-for-28, or 32.1 percent, from the field in the second half — and it was a recipe for disaster.
“When you look at the turnovers in the second half I believe it was 12, when you look at 3-of-26 from our backcourt from the floor, you’re going to have a hard time,” Miller said.
Defensively, Indiana played well enough to win.
A big reason for IU falling behind early against Maryland on Sunday and having to mount a comeback in the second half was the Terrapin’s ability to knock down shots at a high rate. They shot 17-for-31, or 54.8 percent, from the field including 9-for-17, or 52.9 percent, from distance to take a 45-36 lead into the locker room.
Compare that to tonight’s game, where the Hoosiers held the Nittany Lions to 11-for-32, or 34.4 percent, from the field in the first half including shooting 2-for-9, or 22.2 percent, from distance, and one might think IU held a comfortable halftime lead. However, Indiana was no better.
The Hoosiers shot just 10-for-29, or 34.5 percent, including 1-for-6, or 16.7 percent, from three in a 28-28 game heading into the break.
Inside The Numbers:
Two players were in double figures for Indiana. Trayce Jackson-Davis led the Hoosiers with 14 points followed by Justin Smith contributing 13. Jackson-Davis was tied with Justin Smith for the team lead in rebounds with seven.
IU won the rebounding margin 44-38.
For the game, Indiana was 19-of-57, or 33.3 percent, from the field including going 2-of-11, or 18.2 percent, from three-point range.
The Hoosiers shot well from the line, going 9-for-10. However, the 10 attempts are well below their season average of just under 25 per game.
For the game, IU had 9 assists compared to 18 turnovers. 15 of the turnovers were attributable to Penn State steals.
Indiana (15-6, 5-5) travels to Ohio State for a Big Ten conference matchup. The game tips off at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 1.
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