Penn State Basketball: Nittany Lions Looking to Correct Mistakes Following 74-51 Loss to Indiana
As the pass flew over Indiana defenders, a collective gasp filled the Bryce Jordan Center, and Penn State's DJ Newbill's outstretched arm just made it to the ball as the leaping sophomore sailed through the air. Newbill tried his best to corral the alley-oop attempt on Penn State's opening possession, but the ball clanged off the rim and out of bounds.
It was like that for most of the game for Penn State as it fell, 74-51 to No. 5 Indiana on Monday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. Plays almost working, shots almost falling and foul calls never seeming to go the way of a team trying to pull the upset.
"When you play a team like Indiana, you have to produce points," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "If you don't produce any points, it is going to be a long night. I saw a little bit of last year in tonight a little bit. We couldn't take care of the basketball in certain parts of the game and some of our decisions were poor.
"We worked on that the last couple of days and unfortunately, give credit to Indiana, we were rushed, we were sped up and we looked very uncomfortable out there where we needed to move the ball side to side, get touches, work it like we did on the four-game winning streak."
Freshman Brandon Taylor hit a 3 for a 3-2 Penn State edge, but it was all Indiana from there. A three-minute 12-0 run for a 15-3 lead put the Hoosiers out in front for good. Two free throws and a score in transition saw the game on the verge of getting out of hand at 19-6, with 12:37 left in the first half. By the time Penn State settled in and began scoring, the Hoosiers' lead was kept just out of reach.
A combo of Christian Watford, Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls attacked the Nittany Lions from all angles, showing why they're one of the best cores in the nation. The three Hoosiers combined for 45 points, each shooting more than 50 percent from the field.
"Look, that's not one guy, that is eight guys, nine guys, that's a deep team. It's the reason why they are a top five team in the country," Chambers said. "We have to do what we do and play Penn State basketball to the best of our ability. We have our foundation in and we just have to do a better job of it."
Facing a 44-27 halftime deficit, Penn State did a better job in the second half creating turnovers and forcing Indiana into a few mistakes. However, the Nittany Lions continued to struggle to find the bottom of the basket and were never able to seriously cut into Indiana's lead, a large part due to Penn State's 19 turnovers.
Ross Travis led all Nittany Lions with 14 points, but guards Jermaine Marshall and D.J Newbill combined for 8-for-26 from the field for 19 points.
"I felt like they pressed a little bit," Chambers said. "Jermaine and D.J., I think that is why you saw so many turnovers. When you get deep and get three guys around you, you got to protect the ball, you have to keep your dribble, you got to make better decisions, you have to step through. We can't get too deep and we can't get trapped like that or we will turn the ball over."
Penn State will get a quick turnaround as it faces Northwestern on Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
"I'm glad," Marshall said about the quick turnaround, the junior guard visibly disappointed with the night's performance.
"There is no time to feel sorry for yourself," Chambers said. "We've got to go out and learn Northwestern's cuts and their offense and get ready for the game on Thursday."