(Photo Credit: Indiana Basketball)
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA — The Hoosiers secured a tough victory on the road against a tenacious Penn State Nittany Lions team. Even though IU had a double digit lead late, PSU cut the lead to just two points and had a chance to tie or win the game, but IU pulled through.
It took close to six minutes for IU to score their first points and they started the game 1/9 shooting. At the under-12 timeout, IU was shooting 1/11 from the floor, and PSU was 4/11; yet IU was only down 6 due to PSU’s poor free throw shooting. After the under-8, IU went on a run and took the lead. Devontè Green hit two quick threes and PSU continued to miss free throws. Clifton Moore made a surprising appearance into the game after Justin Smith and DeRon Davis each picked up 2 fouls. He immediately made an impact with a nice and-one conversion and a few rebounds. Both teams traded runs with Romeo Langford surging for 15 quick points, and Penn State’s Myles Dread and Rasir Bolton hitting quick shots.
At the end of the first half, IU was ahead 34-30. Romeo Langford was the leading scorer for IU with 15 points. For Penn State, team leader Lamar Stevens had 8 points and 7 boards.
To begin the half, IU forced Penn State to call timeout after quick buckets by Juwan Morgan and an Al Durham three pointer. The Hoosiers went on a 12-0 run until DeRon Davis picked up his 4th foul. At the under-8 timeout, IU was up 54-47 after Penn State’s Myreon Jones scored a quick 5 points. Penn State cut the lead to 4 after Juwan Morgan picked up his 4th foul until Rob Phinisee scored 7 points in a row to stretch the lead back to 9 points during a key late game moment. At the crucial point of the game, Penn State went on a late 10-1 scoring run and cut the lead to 2 points. Penn State had a chance with 2.3 seconds to hit a game-tying or winning shot. But Phinisee’s phenomenal, late-game defense secured the victory for the Hoosiers.
Turnovers overall and foul trouble for Juwan Morgan continue to be a trend for this year’s group. Romeo Langford only scored 2 points in the second half, and DeRon Davis played only 5 minutes. Looking ahead, IU has to cut down on the turnovers and stay disciplined on defense. Perhaps the veterans on this team can learn a thing or two from Phinisee, who might have had his best game as a Hoosier so far this year.
The Hoosiers face a scrappy Louisville bunch on Saturday, December 8th in Bloomington. Louisville comes to Assembly Hall after massive victories against Big Ten rival Michigan State and Seton Hall. Kenpom currently ranks Louisville 48th out of 353. A preview of this game should be coming soon.