Penn State shows toughness in bounce-back win over Indiana

Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry evoked the hardness of his team after a loss to No. 1 Purdue on Sunday. He also named the Big Ten who officiated in recent games. Last but not least, Shrewsberry in particular shouted the senior leaders among his Nittany Lions.

Stunned by everyone, Shrewsberry set the stage for a crucial showdown for Penn State against Indiana on Wednesday night.

“That’s the biggest thing at the moment. You prove things in moments. They prove things at different times. We didn’t play well in the second half. Don’t let that affect your human psyche, we’re not a very good team,” Shrewsberry said after Penn State’s loss. “We were beaten by the country’s number one… It’s not that belief, we can’t play with them, it’s more of a belief, can we make it for a whole game?

“It’s not just Purdue; it’s Indiana, it’s Iowa, it’s Michigan, it’s everyone we play against. You have to do it and you can’t talk about it. You have to prove it for 40 minutes, you have to do it. We know we can do it. Now it’s about sticking with it when things don’t go well.”

Hosting the Hoosiers at the Bryce Jordan Center, the targets of Shrewsberry’s wrath responded. With 18 3-pointers made, Penn State set a program record and delivered a dominating 85-66 win over Indiana. The effort improved the Nittany Lions to 12-5 for the season and 3-3 in Big Ten play.

Here’s a look at what led Penn State to victory:

How it happened

The Nittany Lions’ effort wasn’t dominant from the start. Instead, a missed first-half order hit Penn State back 12-10 at 12:08, pulling an uncharacteristic Shrewsberry timeout.

The Nittany Lions responded.

With a 16-6 run after the timeout, sparked by Seth Lundy’s 14 points in the first half, bolstered by 11 points on three 3-points made for Andrew Funk, the Nittany Lions led 36-27 at the break. Again, the moment recalled Penn State’s advantage over Purdue on Sunday, noting that its halftime advantage at the Palestra had quickly evaporated with a lack of effort in the second half.

“It’s something we need to tackle as a team. We have to get better,” Shrewsberry said on Sunday. “This isn’t the first time this has happened. I talk in the dressing room about how we need to come out, how we need to play, how we need to do things with energy. Sometimes I sugarcoat it and dance around it, but we have to get better.”

Wednesday night was the Nittany Lions. But the improvement wasn’t without an early 8-2 run for Indiana to shave Penn State’s lead. However, the hosts unleashed a frenzy of funk from across the arc and quickly extended their lead back to double digits.

go deep

Funk’s performance of Deep bridged the first and second halves. Trying to recover from a 3-point attempt at the Palestra, the Grad transfer had to wait until the closing minutes of the first half to send home their first 3-point win of the game against the Hoosiers.

Then he did it again. And again. And again. Then, after the break, he did it three more times for Penn State in the first six minutes of the second half.

Aided by two more 3-pointers from Lundy, the 44-39 advantage increased to 63-49 midway through the second half. Though Hood-Schifino kept Indiana competitive for an Indiana team that faltered in the game, the killer instinct Shrewsberry had been trying to elicit from Penn State in the final few games of the nonconference schedule surfaced.