One good half is enough for Indiana to dump Penn StateBy The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Mon, Jan 7, 2013 10:30 PM EST
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State basketball coach Patrick Chambers wasn't sure if his team had the firepower to score in the 80s or 90s, the way Indiana has all season. The Nittany Lions would not have needed that many points to get a win Monday night. "If you're gonna tell me we hold Indiana to 74 points, I'd think we were in the game," Chambers said. Penn State caught No. 5 Indiana in a second-half lull and held the nation's highest-scoring team to 30 points over the final 20 minutes Monday. However, the Nittany Lions didn't have nearly enough offense to make them pay, and Indiana emerged with a 74-51 win. The Hoosiers (14-1, 2-0 Big Ten) were sluggish for much of the second half but used a sharp first half and strong defense to fluster the Nittany Lions (8-6, 0-2). Penn State has dropped its past four games against Indiana, but Hoosiers coach Tom Crean told his team the Nittany Lions weren't going to go away. "You have to match their work ethic and their toughness," Crean said, "and we did that tonight." Christian Watford led Indiana with 16 points. Cody Zeller had 15, and Jordan Hulls added 14. Ross Travis scored a team-high 14 points for Penn State, which lost for just the second time at home this season. Jermaine Marshall had 11 for the Nittany Lions. Watford, who finished 5-of-8 from the field and added eight rebounds, scored 13 of his points in the first half. "We went to him right off the bat, and that was a big part of our game plan," Crean said. "He responded." Indiana sleepwalked out of the halftime locker room, scoring just one point while committing six turnovers in the first four minutes of the second half. However, Penn State could only shave one point off the Hoosiers' 17-point lead during that stretch. The Hoosiers finished with 17 turnovers, but the Nittany Lions got only nine points off those giveaways. "You have to produce points," Chambers said. "If you don't produce any points, it's going to be a long night." A fast-break dunk by Zeller, who shot 5-for-7 from the field, pushed the lead to 61-41 with just under eight minutes to play, sending many Penn State fans to the exits. The Hoosiers wasted little time taking control of the game, jumping out to leads of 15-3 and 31-13. Indiana shot better than 50 percent for much of the first half, settling at 52 percent before the break, and the Hoosiers were able to generate easy baskets by forcing several Penn State turnovers with full-court pressure. Foul trouble, as it has often been for Penn State, was an early problem. Forward Brandon Taylor picked up two fouls in the first four minutes, and he played just seven minutes in the first half. Reserve Jon Graham had three personals in the half. Three different Nittany Lions -- Marshall, Travis and D.J. Newbill -- played at least 38 minutes Monday. Indiana had four players score in double figures, while just one, Zeller, saw more than 30 minutes of action. "It's almost like they have two teams coming at you," Marshall said. NOTES: Indiana, which leads the nation in scoring, has reached 90 points or more in six games this season. ... Indiana is the only Big Ten team to play its first two conference games on the road this season. ... Newbill is the Big Ten's only player to rank in the conference's top 15 in scoring, rebounding and assists. He finished with eight points, six rebounds and three assists Monday.
1 - 4 of 20
Yahoo! Sports slideshows
1 - 4 of 25