Coming off their most disappointing loss of the season Saturday against Nebraska, Penn State headed out on the road to the hostile confines of Indiana’s Assembly Hall to square off with the No. 7 Hoosiers. Pat Chambers’ squad played hard for 40 minutes, but Penn State remained winless in Big Ten play as they were overwhelmed by a much more talented Indiana team, 72-49.
Despite allowing only two points to National Player of the Year candidate Cody Zeller, Penn State (8-11, 0-7 Big Ten) again struggled to establish any sort of rhythm offensively as they shot just 33 percent from the field and turned the ball over 18 times. Sophomore guard D.J. Newbill led the Lions in scoring with 18 while also pulling down seven rebounds and picking up four steals. Jermaine Marshall chipped in 12 points and six rebounds.
Pat Chambers utilized a 2-3 zone to limit the inside play of Zeller and Christian Watford down low. This strategy was generally effective as the two combined for just 12 points when they normally average close to 30. However, this left the Penn State defense vulnerable to the hot outside shooting of Victor Oladipo (19 points), Yogi Farrell (15 points), Will Sheehey (12 points) and Jordan Hulls (8 points). For the game, Indiana (17-2, 5-1 Big Ten) shot 55 percent (11-20) from 3-point range, while the Nittany Lions, true to form, shot a sizzling 13.3 percent (2-15) from long range.
Simply put, the Nittany Lions are going to need production from more than just Newbill and Marshall if they ever hope to put up a fight against the Big Ten’s elite. While Ross Travis had a solid night with nine points and five rebounds, starters Nick Colella, Sasa Borovnjak, and Brandon Taylor combined for a total of five points. No one could expect this team — a team lacking any depth — to pull off the upset against the Hoosiers, but it does show how far behind in talent the Nittany Lions are compared to IU.
But on a positive note, at least Penn State covered the 24 point spread! Way to go, bros!
The Lions will face another top tier Big Ten team when Ohio State comes to the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday for Coaches vs. Cancer Day.