Penn State Shocks No. 22 Indiana 68-63
Penn State men’s basketball (11-12, 2-8 Big Ten) returned home to face Indiana following an embarrassing loss to Iowa on Wednesday. The No. 22 Hoosiers (19-4, 9-1 Big Ten) came into the Bryce Jordan Center averaging 85 points per game — more than any other team in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions held the electric Indiana offense in check to pull off the 68-63 upset.
How It Happened
Penn State’s defense created havoc in the early going, causing a couple turnovers with the offense cashing in on the other end. Penn State managed to hold off the high-scoring Hoosiers for much of the first half. Sloppy play characterized the early minutes of a fast-paced, end to end game.
Brandon Taylor provided the spark for the Nittany Lions in the first half. Taylor was in double-digits with a good portion of the half left and played a scrappy defensive game to slow down the Hoosiers. Devin Foster also found his game in the half, going perfect from the field to complement his clutch three point shooting.
A slew of turnovers from Penn State allowed Indiana to close the early gap and an intentional foul called on Shep Garner had the potential to change the Nittany Lions’ fortunes. Despite shooting struggles, Penn State kept the game competitive with solid defense.
Indiana went into the half with a 34-33 lead, but the Nittany Lions had many positives to look at. The senior forward put together a good half of play, while Foster filled a shooting void left by Shep Garner as he struggled to knock down shots. There was a lot to look forward to in the second half.
The high intensity game picked up in the second half right where it left off at halftime. Shep Garner was quick to come out of the locker room and make up for his rough first half. The sophomore guard rallied his team with six of their first eight points out of the break.
The game’s pace slowed down as the half progressed. Fouls made the game choppy and Penn State picked up a ton up early, putting Indiana in the bonus with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
With Garner finding his form, Taylor and Foster continued to produce — putting the Big Ten leading Hoosiers on the ropes. Taylor’s clutch threes caused an eruption in the BJC, but Indiana answered right back.
With minutes left and the game tied, each team had an opportunity to pull off something special. The Nittany Lions would not let this one slip away. In an atmosphere the rebuilding Penn State basketball program could only dream of, the Nittany Lions came up when it mattered most down the stretch. Shep Garner iced the game from the line to lead Penn State past Indiana 68-63.
Player Of The Game
Brandon Taylor | Senior | Forward
Brandon Taylor was the driving force behind this upset win. The forward out of New Jersey found his groove while giving Tom Crean and the Hoosiers fits. Taylor finished the night with 24 points and six rebounds to lead Penn State over Indiana.
Coming off the monumental win, the Nittany Lions will travel to Lincoln for a matchup with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The game will tip-off at 6 p.m. next Saturday and will air live on BTN.