Penn State Falls to Indiana in Big Ten Tournament
For a half, it looked promising. Penn State, despite rarely having a lead, went into halftime at Bankers Life Fieldhouse trailing only by six points, 38-32. Tim Frazier was on fire with nineteen points, and there was reason for optimism as both teams headed to halftime. The second half was a different story as Indiana (25-7) went on to defeat Penn State (12-20) by a score of 75-58.
At times in the first half, it appeared as if the Hoosiers were about to pull away before something Frazier did gave Penn State new life. Before the second half began, Pat Chambers said, what everyone has known all season, that someone needed to step up and give Frazier some help. That never happened, and the Nittany Lions’ offense became stagnant as Frazier began to go cold.
Within seven minutes, the Hoosiers had stretched their lead to 19 and would control things the rest of the way. Junior guard Jordan Hulls led the way for Indiana with 20 points, including four three-pointers while freshman Cody Zeller chipped in 19, getting to the foul line FIFTEEN times. If there is a bright spot outside of Frazier’s strong first half, it would be Trey Lewis, who chipped in 11 points and shot 4-of-9 from the field.
Indiana now moves on to a quarterfinal matchup against Wisconsin tomorrow and will get a bid into the NCAA tournament while Penn State’s season comes to an end. Penn State by no means has the tradition-rich basketball success that Indiana has with their five national championships, but Pat Chambers should be able to look towards what Tom Crean has done with his Indiana program as hope for Penn State. As recently as last season, Indiana played the role of bottom seed just like Penn State was today. While it took Crean four years to get the program back on track, the Hoosiers appear to be primed for a potential tournament run and on solid ground going forward. Penn State is hopefully not as far behind as it may sometimes seem.
The Nittany Lions squad that takes the floor next November should be vastly improved from the one that exited today.