Penn State needed a 3-pointer to tie Indiana in the final 14.6 seconds of regulation.
Nittany Lion guard D.J. Newbill couldn’t handle a pass on the perimeter but fell on the loose ball and called a timeout with 4.7 seconds to go. Newbill received the ensuing inbounds pass and immediately rose up with a 3-point attempt that fell well short.
Penn State forward Brandon Taylor secured the offensive rebound, dribbled behind the arc and heaved a desperation attempt that went through the net — after the final buzzer sounded.
Penn State fell 76-73 to Indiana at Assembly Hall for its fourth straight loss to start Big Ten play Tuesday night. The Nittany Lions (12-5, 0-4) finished 4 for 24 (16.7 percent) from beyond the arc, while the Hoosiers connected on 9 of 21 (42.9 percent) attempts from deep.
“We can’t keep shooting so poorly from the outside,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “We’ve got to put the ball inside and those guys got to make plays and I felt like they did. Now, when you get down, you’re going to shoot a little bit, take more threes because you’re down. So I think 24’s a little skewed, but I wanted to put the ball inside.”
Guard Robert Johnson scored a game-high 20 points and went 4 for 6 from 3-point range for the Hoosiers (13-4, 3-1).
Ross Travis and Shep Garner each scored 14 points to lead six players in double figures. Newbill finished with 12, Taylor scored 11 and Donovon Jack and Geno Thorpe each had 10.
Penn State trailed by 12 with just under seven minutes to go.
A pair of free throws by Jack started the comeback. Newbill finished a layup, his lone field goal of the second half, to pull the Nittany Lions within eight.
Garner knocked down a 3-pointer, and Penn State was within 70-66 with 4:06 to go.
But Johnson ended the rally with a three from the top of the key on the ensuing possession.
When Penn State pulled within four again on a three-point play by Thorpe, Indiana’s Collin Hartman swished a 3-pointer to push the lead to 76-69 with 2:03 to play. Penn State got a pair of Travis field goals in between stops to set up the chance to tie with 14.6 seconds left.
“Honestly, we played harder,” Chambers said of Penn State’s comeback. “We went to a three-quarter court press. They’d do the same thing. (We) played a little bit harder. We forced some turnovers and some quick shots.”
Newbill’s attempt missed in the final seconds. Taylor’s three was reviewed by officials, confirming it was released after the buzzer.
“It was late,” Chambers said. “I could see it was late. I saw the red lights go on. We got the right guy the shot. We work on that all the time, end-of-game situations.”
The Nittany Lions were tied 51-51 with more than 13 minutes to play but never led in the second half. Indiana used a 7-0 run to take control until Penn State’s late rally.
Newbill was limited to two points in the second half and finished 5 for 15 from the field. Travis was 7 for 8 from the field, Thorpe was 4 for 6 and Jack was 3 for 3.
But PSU struggled from beyond the arc. Newbill was 0 for 4, Taylor finished 1 for 6 and Garner was 2 for 10.
Indiana jumped out to a 17-6 lead, but Penn State evened the score on a run led by Newbill.
Newbill banked in a drive, swished a floater and knocked down a pull-up jumper for six straight points. Taylor connected off the glass before Newbill found Thorpe for a 3-pointer to even the score at the midway point of the half.
The Nittany Lions led by one point on three different occasions before Indiana pulled ahead in the final 1:29 of the half and took a 39-34 advantage into the break.