Penn State traveled to Iowa City Thursday night looking to halt the team’s eight-game losing streak to begin Big Ten play. The Lions kept it close, but ultimately fell 76-67 in a slopfest that produced a combined 34 turnovers and 41 fouls and kept Penn State the lone team without a win in Big Ten play.
Aaron White was dominant for the Hawkeyes and posted a career-high 27 points on 8-15 shooting and 10-11 from the free throw line. As a team, Iowa made 31 free throws on 39 attempts, which kept the Nittany Lions at arms length throughout much of the ballgame.
Penn State started out hot offensively, jumping out to a 10-3 lead by knocking down four of their first six shots. That lead quickly evaporated, however, as Iowa’s full court press caused problems for Penn State and led to a 14-0 run for the Hawkeyes to put Iowa ahead 17-10 — a lead they would never relinquish.
Penn State shot the ball better than they had on the road all season, but the team wasted many offensive possessions with 19 total turnovers, many of them unforced. Penn State did close the Iowa lead to three a few minutes into the second half, but Iowa promptly followed with a 13-2 run to increase their lead to 52-38. Additionally, Penn State sent Iowa to the line 26 times via 16 personal fouls in the second half, making it difficult to complete any sort of comeback.
D.J. Newbill posted 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists to lead Penn State (8-13, 0-9 Big Ten), while Jermaine Marshall added 15. The Lions, eager for a third option to contribute offensively, saw efforts of eight points from Brandon Taylor and seven points from Sasa Borovnjak.
Jon Graham was the lone bright spot off the bench with six points, four rebounds and two blocks in 17 minutes. Ross Travis continued his offensive struggles with an awful performance. The sophomore went 0-7 from the field and managed to score just one point.
Melsahn Basabe registered a double-double for Iowa (14-7, 3-5 Big Ten), scoring ten points and pulling down ten rebounds, while Roy Devyn Marble posted eight points. Iowa’s bench chipped in 27 points with Anthony Clemmons and Eric May leading the way with 8 and 7 points, respectively.
Penn State will get a much-needed weekend off before returning home for Tuesday’s home matchup against 11-10 Purdue.