Men’s Basketball Drops Fourth Straight to Iowa
Venues not named the Bryce Jordan Center have not been kind to the men’s basketball team so far this season, and that theme continued on Saturday as Penn State (10-14, 2-9) fell to Iowa (13-11, 5-6) by a score of 77-64 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game was not as close as the final score indicated as Pat Chambers’ squad dropped their fourth straight game. One has to go back to February of 2010 to find the last time a losing streak of that nature existed.
The Nittany Lions started about as cold as possible, trailing by scores of 16-2 and 23-7 before finally heading into halftime down 36-19. Penn State attempted 13 three-pointers in the first half, but when only two of them fall, there are going to be problems. The last possession before halftime was very symbolic of the game itself. Tim Frazier beat his man off the dribble and looked to have an easy basket before getting caught underneath by another defender, leading to an awkward missed layup.
Penn State would shoot and play better in the second half. With about fourteen minutes remaining, they were able to get the Iowa lead down to fourteen before the Hawkeyes went on another run to extend their lead to 20. This is how the game would play out as Penn State hit some late threes to get the final margin down to 13.
Despite a rough first half including a few palming turnovers, Tim Frazier ended up putting together a very nice game scoring a game high 23 points on 10-21 shooting. Jermaine Marshall, Cam Woodyard, and Nick Colella all reached double figures with 13, 11, and 10 respectively.
It was a rather balanced effort for Iowa as Matt Gatens led the way with 18 while freshman Aaron White nearly doubled his season average by chipping in 17.
Even after a slow start to the second half that resulted in a Chambers technical foul (his third of the season), Penn State never quit, but an awful first half performance against a rather average Big Ten opponent is a bit tough to excuse. Penn State is now 0-6 in Big Ten road games, losing by an average of 16.3 points. They have held their own at home against quality opponents, but the road has been a different story.
A nice bright spot in the midst of a relatively sub-par performance was Billy Oliver playing in his first game in over two weeks, returning from concussion like symptoms and hitting a three in the final few minutes.
The Nittany Lions will attempt to get back on track Wednesday night in East Lansing against ninth-ranked Michigan State.