BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Penn State showed some fight early against No. 7 Indiana, but the Hoosiers had too much firepower from the 3-point line and ran away from the Nittany Lions with a 72-49 victory on Wednesday in Assembly Hall.
Coming off a tough home loss to Nebraska, the Nittany Lions responded with an aggressive effort early although their offensive struggles on the road continued.
“I think our kids played so hard,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said after the game. “They never gave up and they played right to the very end. I’m really proud of my team.”
Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill combined for 30 Nittany Lion points and tallied 12 of the team’s 17 field goals in the game.
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Newbill finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four steals, but also turned the ball over eight times. Marshall scored 12 points, added six boards and committed three turnovers before fouling out with 6:02 left in the second half.
“I played (Newbill) 39 minutes, and I know he had eight turnovers, but it didn’t feel like it the way he played and the way he carried himself,” Chambers said. “If he can bring that everyday, than we have a special player on our hands.”
Penn State (8-11, 0-7 Big Ten) shot just 33 percent from the field and 13 percent from three in the game.
The Hoosiers (17-2, 5-1 Big Ten) rebounded from a mediocre shooting performance in the first half to finish at 45 percent for the game and 55 percent from behind the arc. They scored 33 points (11-for-20) from three compared to just six (2-for-15) for Penn State.
The hot shooting even absorbed an uninspired performance by Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year Cody Zeller, who finished without a field goal (0 for 4) and just two points, four turnovers, three blocks and eight rebounds.
Victor Oladipo lead all scorers with 19 points on only seven shot attempts. Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored 15 on 6 of 7 shooting (3 for 4 from three). Will Sheehey added 12 on 4-of-6 shooting (3-for-3 from three).
Oladipo did his damage by going 9-for-12 from the foul line, another place where his team gouged Penn State.
The Hoosiers went 21 of 37 from the foul line, a poor percentage by any measure but the sheer volume eventually left the Nittany Lions shorthanded.
Marshall, Sasa Borovnjak (four points, two rebounds) and Brandon Taylor (zero points, three rebounds) each fouled out, while Nick Colella (one point) had four.
As a team, Penn State committed 18 turnovers, which Indiana converted into 15 points. The Lions did manage 10 offensive rebounds, but were bested by the Hoosiers’ 14.
Chambers was disappointed with his team’s first-half intensity against the Cornhuskers, but Penn State didn’t back down in the opening minutes against the Hoosiers.
“We did a lot of different things and for a while it worked, but then talent takes over and they started making threes,” he said.
Indiana started with a quick 7-0 spurt that looked like it would yield them a first-round knockout. However, Chambers’ bunch answered behind some aggressive play by Ross Travis.
After a Marshall jumper got them on the board, Travis followed up by attacking the rim with a two-handed dunk attempt over Cody Zeller. The effort went careening off the rim, but yielded two free throws for the Penn State sophomore.
Then on Indiana’s next possession, Travis (nine points, five rebounds, two blocks) rejected Christian Watford’s two-handed attack of the rim.
Penn State’s defense remained stout for most of the first half, before wilting in the waning minutes. Indiana shot just 37 percent in the first half.
Marshall had a nice chase-down blocked shot that spoiled a beautiful give-and-go between Watford (10 points) and Oladipo.
He met Oladipo at his apex and sent his shot away, keeping the deficit at 20-10 (Penn State finished with seven blocks in the game).
After Jon Graham (five points) hit two layups off skillful Marshall dishes, the score was 21-14 with 4:33 left in the half.
Penn State would never threaten again.
The Hoosiers finished the half on a 12-5 run to head into the break up 33-19. Then they blitzed the Lions with an 8-0 run to start the second, pushing the lead to 41-19.
From there the outcome was never in doubt, although Indiana coach Tom Crean must have sensed something as his team continued to pressure full court leading 69-46 with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Penn State will return to the Bryce Jordan Center for a matchup with No. 14 Ohio State (14-4, 4-2 Big Ten) on Saturday for the Coaches versus Cancer Band Together Day. The game is scheduled to tip at noon and will air on ESPN2.