No. 9 Penn State Hoops Ultimately Falls Short 68-60 At Indiana

No. 9 Penn State men’s basketball (20-7, 10-6 Big Ten) fell on the road to Indiana (18-9, 7-7 Big Ten) 68-60.

After trailing by 17 in the first half, the Nittany Lions rode a 24-5 run to take the lead. the comeback wasn’t enough for the visitors, though, who were outlasted by the Hoosiers.

Lamar Stevens led all scorers with 29, and surpassed Jesse Arnelle for second in the all-time leaderboard for Penn State scoring.

How It Happened

Myreon Jones once again sat out for the Nittany Lions, his fifth straight absence.

John Harrar made his presence felt early, doing well on the offensive boards and causing Indiana big men Joey Brunk and Justin Smith to foul. Despite Lamar Stevens’ two early buckets, Indiana ran out to a 10-5 lead at the first TV timeout.

The ugly start continued for Penn State. Indiana began the festivities shooting 7-9 from the field, while the Nittany Lions were at a dismal 2-for-8. At 12 minutes left in the first half, the Hoosiers were riding a 16-2 run.

No roll was going Penn State’s way in the early going — Harrar got called on an offensive foul, cancelling out an easy Jamari Wheeler layup, before Wheeler and Stevens both picked up their second fouls en route to a Hoosier and-one. Regardless of personnel, the Nittany Lions couldn’t take control of the ball early.

The torrid pace of Indiana’s offense began to slow down toward the end of the first half, however Penn State wasn’t sinking much either. Chambers decided to combat Indiana’s two-big man system by keeping both Harrar and Watkins on the floor, and it appeared to work on the defensive end for awhile.

Just when it looked like Penn State was getting back into the game, Indiana rode an 11-0 run, forcing a Pat Chambers timeout with the Lions trailing 37-18. Although they had a bit of a run to end the first half, Penn State took nine first half turnovers into the locker room, trailing 37-24.

It was an ideal start to the second half for Myles Dread, who nailed a midrange jumper. Dread was the player Chambers needed to get hot, as the usual sharpshooter was 0-4 from the field and 0-2 from the line in the opening half.

Combined with the first half, Penn State scored 16 straight before Archie Miller called timeout, the deficit just three with 17 minutes to play.

Where everything went Indiana’s way in the first half, it appeared that Penn State couldn’t miss to begin the closing period. A Myles Dread three, his third straight bucket, tied the game at 39.

Lamar Stevens drove to the hoop to give the Lions their first lead since 4-2. With his 23rd point of the afternoon, the Nittany Lion talisman surpassed Jesse Arnelle for second on the all time scoring list with 2,139 points.

At the under-12 timeout, Penn State led 48-45 after a 24-8 open to the second half. The 24 points already equalled the Nittany Lions’ first half return.

In a true game of runs, Indiana responded with a 9-0 run itself to go up 51-48 with eight minutes remaining. The Hoosiers expanded it to a 15-2 run before Penn State took a timeout, down 57-50.

The buckets were harder to come by down the stretch, as Stevens missed two close range attempts that he would typically get to fall.

Wheeler did what he does best, stealing the ball and getting fouled by Race Thompson for his fourth. Wheeler converted on both ends of the one-and-one, bringing the scoreline to 57-54 with just over four minutes to play.

Lamar Stevens once again went to work with 1:30 to play, cutting short a quick Indiana run to keep the Nittany Lions alive, down five.

Indiana had a clear runout off the timeout, but botched a two on one to return possession to the Lions. On the inbounds, Stevens threw it away, gifting Indiana two more points.

After a Harrar two, the game devolved into a game of free throws. Thompson missed two for the Hoosiers, but a Stevens missed dunk returned the ball to Indiana with 38 seconds to play. Dread fouled out on the ensuing play, but Al Durham only made one of two, poising the score at 64-58.

Lundy missed a three with 30 seconds to play, and that more or less sealed it for the home side. Indiana escaped with the 68-60 victory.


  • Myles Dread’s offensive inefficiency continued for another game, despite being the second-leading scorer for the Nittany Lions. All 10 of the guard’s points were scored in the first few minutes of the second half. Otherwise, only Stevens pulled his weight on the attacking end. It is getting clearer and clearer at this stage: the Nittany Lions need Myreon Jones.
  • One week ago, Penn State was two games ahead of third place in the Big Ten standings. After consecutive losses to Illinois and Indiana, the Nittany Lions are now tied with Michigan State and Iowa at 10-6. Seeding will be very important in the conference tournament, and Penn State can’t afford to drop more than one or two more games if they want a coveted double bye in Indianapolis.
  • The only reason Penn State deserved to be in the game was its main man — Lamar Stevens. His 29 points bailed out the visitors countless times during the contest. He is well deserving of climbing to second in the all-time scoring list, and doing it in a statement way was a good fit for just how impressive Stevens has been during his four years in Happy Valley.

What’s Next

Penn State will return home next Wednesday, February 26 when it faces Rutgers. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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