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Indiana 74, Penn State 57: Nittany Lions Get Blown Out While Seeking Season Sweep of the Hoosiers

The Nittany Lions played arguably their worst game of the season on Wednesday night in Bloomington

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Indiana Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday night the Penn State Nittany Lions traveled to Bloomington looking to cap off a season sweep of the Indiana Hoosiers. Well... from the get go the Hoosiers looked like a team determined to avenge a loss to the Nittany Lions earlier in the season and the game quickly became a blowout.

Indiana jumped out to a 10-0 lead. This lead would grow to 17-3 and this game was over before it ever started. With the loss, the Nittany Lions are now 8-9 overall on the season, 3-6 in Big Ten play.

To be honest this game was not even as close as the final score. The Nittany Lions put together a late 11-0 run, which will we delve into further, that cut into the deficit and made the final score more respectable.

Ultimately, when a game sees a team jump out to a 17-3 lead and then a 46-17 lead at the half, there is not much to be said about that game. This is one that Micah Shrewsberry, his players, and staff will all want to forget.

Four Factors Analysis

Player of the Game

Yet again this goes to Jalen Pickett. He was the leading scorer for the Nittany Lions with 14 points, which included going 4/7 from three-point range. He reeled in 5 rebounds and had half of Penn State’s 10 assists.

Random Observations

This was arguably Penn State’s worst performance of the season - There is still a strong argument to be made for the 81-56 loss against UMASS being Penn State’s worst performance of the season. That said, Wednesday was every bit as ugly, largely because the Nittany Lions are better team now than they were in the second game of the season. Penn State shot just 33.3% from the field and had 10 shots blocked. The Nittany Lions committed 14 turnovers and struggled to distribute the basketball with just 10 assists. The UMASS game may have been uglier, but this was undoubtedly their worst performance of the Big Ten season.

Minnesota postponement stunted the team’s momentum - After having three straight games in canceled due to COVID in the month of December, the Nittany Lions started to play some very strong basketball. The Nittany Lions were 3-2 in their first 5 games after returning to play, with the two losses coming by a combined 12 points against two teams currently ranked in the top 16 in Purdue and Ohio State. Well, since their game against the Golden Gophers was canceled last week the Nittany Lions are 0-2 and have been outscored 142-108. It appears their momentum has been stunted.

Nittany Lions did not give up - To the credit of Penn State they did not just roll over and die. As was mentioned above the team went on a late 11-0 run. At one point they trialed by 32 points and that 11-0 run cut the Indiana lead to 16 at the time. They also outscored the Hoosiers 40-28 in the second half. The Nittany Lions easily could have quit at half time but, instead, they came out swinging in the second half. The work ethic and culture that Coach Shrewsberry and his staff have already started to cultivate in Happy Valley.

Looking Ahead

Penn State returns to the court on Monday night when they host the Iowa Hawkeyes at the Bryce Jordan Center. In their first home game since January 11th, the Nittany Lions will be looking to avenge a 68-51 loss against Iowa this past Saturday.