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Penn State Hoops Falls To 0-7 In Big Ten Play After 89-82 Loss To No. 23 Iowa

Penn State men’s basketball (7-11, 0-7 Big Ten) is still searching for its first victory in Big Ten play after an 89-82 loss to No. 23 Iowa (15-3, 4-3 Big Ten) at the Bryce Jordan Center.

The Nittany Lions’ freshmen, Mike Watkins, and Josh Reaves all had strong games, but Penn State was unable to slow down Iowa’s Luka Garza and Jordan Bohannon, who dropped 22 and 19 points, respectively.

Penn State’s 0-7 start in Big Ten play is the fourth worst conference start since joining the Big Ten.

How It Happened

Penn State got off to a hot start, with two Myles Dread threes and a Josh Reaves mid-range jumper forcing Iowa into a timeout trailing 8-0 just 75 seconds into the game. Three-pointers from Dread and Kyle McCloskey as well as a few strong blocks from Mike Watkins kept Penn State’s lead at a comfortable eight for a while, but Iowa began to chip away with around 12 minutes remaining in the half.

Three triples in a row gave the Hawkeyes their first lead of the game at the 11:13 mark of the half and forced Pat Chambers into a timeout with the score at 17-16.

A trio of Isaiah Moss threes for Iowa extended its lead to 29-20 with 7:30 remaining in the half, but Penn State answered with back to back triples from Rasir Bolton and Josh Reaves. The Nittany Lions continued to battle, and back-to-back and-ones from Mike Watkins and Bolton gave Penn State a 41-37 lead with more than a minute remaining in the half.

Two more buckets from Bolton extended the Penn State lead to 45-40 at the half. Bolton and Dread were the two Nittany Lions in double figures heading into the break after scoring 12 and 14 points, respectively.

The second half started sloppily for both teams, but Iowa knotted the game up at 47 with 17:32 remaining. The Hawkeyes were gaining some momentum, but a technical foul on Luke Garza resulted in two free throws for Bolton and a Jamari Wheeler three, giving the Nittany Lions a two-point lead.

The two teams traded buckets, but a Josh Reaves three and a pair of free throws from Wheeler pushed Penn State’s lead up to eight with 11 minutes remaining. Naturally, Iowa followed this with a seven-point run of its own to make the score 68-67 with a little over eight minutes remaining.

With six minutes remaining, Iowa claimed a 74-72 lead in large part due to the struggling Penn State offense. Another three for the Hawkeyes at the 4:52 mark extended their lead to five.

Just when the game seemed over for Penn State with Iowa’s lead at seven, Josh Reaves hit back-to-back threes, and a Lamar Stevens layup gave the Nittany Lions a 80-79 lead with three minutes remaining.

The score was tied at 82 with two minutes to play. Iowa’s Garza went one-for-two from the free throw line with 1:36 remaining, and Mike Watkins had an opportunity to give the Nittany Lions a lead on the following possession, but missed a pair of free throws.

Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon hit a dagger three with 36 seconds remaining to extend the Hawkeye lead to four, and Penn State was unable to recover, suffering an 89-82 loss despite leading late.


  • Penn State has been living and dying by the shooting of its freshmen guards, and the duo of Rasir Bolton and Myles Dread came through for the Nittany Lions tonight. Although they lost, the duo combined for 30 points on 10-20 shooting.
  • Lamar Stevens had a brutal offensive night, shooting just 4-for-18 from the field. Stevens is the heartbeat of the team, and it’ll be hard for the Nittany Lions to win with performances like tonight’s from him.
  • Penn State struggled heavily to contain the Hawkeyes’ duo of Luka Garza and Jordan Bohannon, which combined for 41 points. Bohannon hit an open deep three with 36 seconds to play to seal the game for Iowa.
  • The Nittany Lions were actually a one-point favorite in Vegas coming into the game against No. 23 Iowa. Why? The world may never know.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers on the road at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will air on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Brian Bachman

Brian Bachman is a freshman in the school of communications and a contributor at Onward State. He is from northern Virginia but fell in love with Penn State a few years ago and knew after his first visit he wanted to come here. If you are a fan of the SUPER BOWL 52 CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (!!!) or sports in general, follow him on twitter @brianbachman_. Email is [email protected].

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