Penn State will face perhaps its stiffest test to date when they venture into Assembly Hall (Bloomington edition) to face #7 Indiana tonight at 7:00 on BTN. This is the second meeting of the season between the Hoosiers and PSU, with Indiana taking the first meeting 74-51 in the Jordan Center earlier this month.
THE LAST TIME OUT
Things went from worse to…much worse, this past Saturday in Penn State’s 68-64 home loss to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers entered the game winless in the league as well, but the Lions were not able to overcome late foul shooting difficulties (1 for 6 down the stretch). PSU was not able to do much better with their shooting from the field, which I probably don’t even need to write anymore. The damage on this day was just 38.6% from the floor, 25% from three, and 15 of 24 from the line. Conversely, Nebraska was 47.1%, and a perfect 16 for 16 from the charity stripe. Combo guard Shavon Shields paced a career high 29 points on 10 of 11 shooting, and 8 for 8 from the foul line. Jermaine Marshall lead PSU with 18 points.
ABOUT THE HOOSIERS
When Indiana visited Happy Valley a couple of weeks back, they were at or near the top of the charts in every major offensive category. Not much as changed since this. IU is 2nd in points per game (84.4%), 5th in field goal percentage (.502) and 21st in assists (16.1 per game). The Hoosiers have dropped another game since then, a 64-59 decision against somewhat surprising Wisconsin. The potent offense still forces a defense to pick a poison, with Cody Zeller dominating inside, and a cadre of big time perimeter players that can kill any team from behind the arc. In the first meeting, Indiana was lead by Christian Watford’s 16, but 4 players scored in double figures.
The good news is PSU should remember the Hoosiers well, having faced them just 16 days ago. The bad news is, well, it won’t matter. Indiana is a tough match up for pretty much anyone on their schedule, even moreso when they get the Assembly Hall crowd on their side. They could have easily run away with the game in the 2nd half at Penn State, but an all around sloppy effort kept the score at the “slim” 23 point margin. I wouldn’t expect such a favor in Bloomington. PSU’s only hope to keep things close is to control the tempo, and hope that Indiana has an off night shooting. I doubt either happens, and I doubt PSU keeps it within 25.