Indiana’s losing streak extended to three straight games Wednesday night as Penn State lost 18 3-pointers and lost to the Hoosiers 85-66 at Happy Valley. The 19-point lead is Indiana’s worst away loss to the Nittany Lions in series history.
The Nittany Lions lived and died by Seth Lundy and Andrew Funks hot shooting Night. The starting duo teamed up to shoot 14 of 24 from deep, during lundy ended with a game-high 25 points and seven 3-pointers, and Funk followed with 23 points and seven 3-pointers. Outstanding Warden Jalen Pickett was largely kept in check with 12 points, but he added eight assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes.
For the Hoosiers (10-6, 1-4), it was another tepid performance on offense by someone unnamed Trayce Jackson Davis. The preseason All-American forward led the visitors with a double-double performance of 14 points and 11 rebounds but didn’t get much help from his fellow teammates. Jalen Hood-Schifino shot just 5 of 15 from the field, finishing with 11 points and six rebounds and four assists. Trey Gallowaywho re-entered the starting line-up in place of Tamar Bates had 10 points and five rebounds.
The formula for Indiana’s entry into the game was simple: Limit Penn State’s 3-point throwing success. Once the game started, however, it was as if the Hoosiers completely ignored their defensive game plan and watched helplessly as the Nittany Lions rained shots from the perimeter.
In the first half alone, Penn State shot 9 of 17 from 3-point range, with Lundy and Funk combining for seven of the marks. The hot rate of shots only continued in the second half, but not by much as the Nittany Lions finished the game with 18 of 31 shooting from beyond the arc.
On the other hand, Indiana’s offense just couldn’t keep up, especially late in the first half. While Penn State went 13-3 and 11-3 thanks to a barrage of 3-pointers, Indiana started the game with a 0-of-6 shot from deep and sank its first triple first Tamar Bates (11 points) knocked one down with 26 seconds left at halftime. The Hoosiers finished the night shooting with just 4 of 14 from 3-point range.
It didn’t help that Indiana’s short-handed rotation once again struggled to take care of the ball. In the first half, the Hoosiers coughed up eight turnovers that the Nittany Lions parlayed to 13 points at the other end. Whether it was Malik Renau (7 points, 5 rebounds) sailed several faulty passes or Hood-Schifino airmailed Jackson-Davis in the mail, Indiana gave away several key possessions.
Indiana’s struggling offense coupled with Penn State’s firepower resulted in the Nittany Lions leading 37-26 at halftime. Much of Penn State’s production came from Lundy and Funk, who combined for 25 points in the first 20 minutes.
It was more of the same thing in the second half, as Indiana’s halftime adjustments still weren’t enough to slow Penn State’s shooting.
Although the Hoosiers showed signs of life after the break, putting on an 8-0 run and reducing the deficit to 39-34, it would be the next IU to overtake Penn State for the rest of the night. After the Nittany Lions settled back in and fought their way through the Hoosiers’ struggling defense, it was all Penn State the rest of the way.
A trio of 3-pointers from Funk within two minutes effectively initiated the final decisive, game-winning goal stretch. Funk’s third 3-pointer of the second half at 13:14 rebounded Penn State’s lead back to 52-42, and the Hoosiers’ body language and energy only deteriorated from there.
Penn State eventually extended their lead to as much as 23 points late in the second half to add exclamation point to a remarkable home win. The two teams played the end of their benches for the final two minutes, with play completely out of reach.
The loss extends Indiana’s losing streak to three straight, while falling to 10-6 overall and 1-4 in Big Ten play. Next, the Hoosiers return home on Saturday to face No. 18 Wisconsin in the afternoon at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Key games and stretches:
1H: 18:21 – Seth Lundy 3-pointer -> Lundy 8 of the first 10 points (PSU leads 10-9)
1H: 8:23 – Lundy Back to back 3 hands (PSU leads 19-15)
1H:4:38 – Evan Mahaffey Steal + layup –> PSU on a 13-3 run (Power adapter leads 26-18)
1H: 0:40 – Camren Wynter Layup -> PSU on an 11-3 run (Power adapter leads 37-23)
1H: 0:26 – Tamar Bates 3-pointer –> IU’s first 3-pointer in the game (PSU leads 37-26)
HALFTIME – Penn State leads 37-26
2H: 16:53 – Trayce Jackson-Davis hang up –> Indiana on an 8-0 run (PSU leads 39-34)
2H: 15:07 – Andrew Funk + Jalen Hood-Schifino Trading with 3 pointers (PSU leads 44-39)
2H: 13:14 – Trey Galloway + Wireless Trading with 3 pointers (PSU leads 52-42)
2H: 7:11 – radio 3-pointer -> Funk’s 4th 3-pointer of the half (PSU leads 72-53)
2H: 1:54 – Mahaffey Layup –> PSU’s biggest lead in the game (Power adapter leads 85-62)