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Penn State Hoops Overwhelmed In Second Half, Falls 68-51 To Iowa

Penn State men’s basketball (8-8, 3-5) couldn’t keep up with Iowa (14-5, 4-4), falling 68-51 on Saturday in Iowa City.

Seth Lundy returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous game, and he scored eight points and brought in five rebounds.

Jalen Pickett led the way with 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists. He was the only Nittany Lion to score in double figures. Greg Lee led the way with eight rebounds, but he only had six points.

How It Happened

Iowa got off to a very fast start and went on a 10-2 run in the first five minutes of the game. Penn State’s only points came from a Greg Lee layup. Myles Dread was able to cut into that run with a three, and Jalen Pickett helped with a shot clock-beating jumper, but the Hawkeyes kept making baskets to have a healthy lead.

Penn State was able to go on a run of its own, however, and it was jumpstarted by a Seth Lundy three. Jaheam Cornwall was able to find his way to the basket and draw a foul, where he made the shot and the free throw. Pickett then hit a jumper in the paint, and suddenly the Nittany Lions were only down by one.

The two teams traded baskets back and forth, but it wasn’t until Lundy hit his second three that Penn State had its first lead of the game. Unfortunately, Iowa went on a 7-0 run to end the second half, and the Hawkeyes went into halftime with a 30-25 lead.

Pickett got the scoring started with a made free throw, but Iowa was ready and answered quickly. Both teams traded made shots, from three pointers to layups. The Hawkeyes’ defense got tougher as the half went on, however, and the Nittany Lions could not get an open look.

Cornwall had one of his better games in a Nittany Lion uniform, and it was highlighted by a tough layup over Iowa’s big men. Dread then followed that up by sinking his second three of the game, and Penn State was only down by five at the under-12-minute media timeout.

Dread hit another big three, which brought Penn State within three points. The Hawkeyes went on a 7-1 run, though, and the momentum completely shifted. That forced Micah Shrewsberry to call a timeout and get regrouped. Pen State wasn’t able to get any points out of the timeout, but Pickett was able to score the next possession.

The Nittany Lions were able to get to the free throw line a couple of times, sinking three out of four possible baskets. Every time they cut into the lead, Iowa was able to bounce back and stop any potential momentum.

Penn State could not make a field goal toward the end of the game. In fact, it was held scoreless for the last five minutes of the game. It was an ugly way to end the game, especially when there were several chances that could have led to the Nittany Lions taking a lead. However, the Hawkeyes were better, and they won 68-51.

Takeaways

  • Having a healthy Seth Lundy is a huge step in the right direction for Penn State. Lundy made key shots that kept the team in the game, especially in the first half. Despite finishing with just eight points, it was good to see him back and contributing.
  • The Nittany Lions did a great job of hustling and out-rebounding the Hawkeyes in the first half, but they continually shot themselves in the foot by turning the ball over. Seventeen turnovers hurts a lot, especially when they are out-rebounding a team that has a losing record when they are out-rebounded. The game was in their hands, and they made too many mistakes to keep themselves alive.
  • It is not everyday when you see John Harrar get beat. He had one of the worst games of his career, and the hope is that it is not a new norm and just great defense from the Hawkeyes. He will have a chance to prove that it was just a fluke when the two teams rematch in just over a week.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions are back on the road, taking on Indiana on Wednesday, January 26. The game will tip off at 8:30 p.m. and air on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey was a Secondary Education major before he graduated from the wonderful institution known as Penn State. When he was not writing for the blog, he enjoyed rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor," and yes mom, actually doing school work. All of this work prepared him to teach his own class of students, which was always his true passion. He still can be found on Twitter @theowenabbey and can be reached for questions and comments at [email protected]

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