Last Time Around...
Penn State took down Indiana 61-58 earlier this month in a back-and-forth affair, thanks to Jalen Pickett’s team-high 15 points and Myles Dread catching fire from downtown, knocking down four of his five three-point attempts (as a team, the Nittany Lions converted 11 of their 22 attempts from behind the arc), as well as a good enough defensive effort that made sure Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis wasn’t able to completely dominate the game, nor did any of his teammates join him in double figures scoring (Jackson-Davis had 20 points, but the next leading scorers for the Hoosiers all had nine points apiece).
Aside from the fact it was Penn State and Micah Shrewsberry’s first Big Ten win, it was also the first game PSU had played since early December, thanks to a COVID outbreak within the PSU team and later, the Delaware State team, that forced them to cancel three straight games. The win sparked a streak of stellar play that included a comeback win on the road at Northwestern later that same week, followed by giving at top-five Purdue squad all they could handle, and then knocking off Rutgers at home.
What To Watch For
Will Jackson-Davis get a little more help from his teammates Race Thompson and Xavier Johnson, the other pair of Hoosiers who average double digits scoring? Can PSU have a similar three-point shooting performance from the first meeting? Will John Harrar go back to being the John Harrar we know and love? The latter two questions will especially be crucial to answer “yes” to if the Lions are going to pull off the sweep.
Both teams are coming off rough blowout losses: Penn State dropped a 68-51 decision at Iowa, while Indiana got waxed at home by Michigan, 80-62. I feel comfortable saying both teams will come out firing with stronger performances than their previous games, but given the difficulty of winning on the road in the Big Ten plus the fact that this is a “revenge” game for the Hoosiers, I’ll have to go with the home team here.
Indiana 64, Penn State 61