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Lions Look to Build on Setback to Fifth-Ranked Hoosiers

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By Kelsey Detweiler, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State was unable to out-score a fast-paced Indiana offense in the Bryce Jordan Center on Monday night, but the Lions held a team that averages a nation-best 87.9 points per game to just 74.

8454347.jpegIn their Big Ten home-opener, the Lions welcomed an Indiana team sporting a 13-1 overall record and a 28.3-point scoring margin over opposing teams. With a game-plan of coming out and playing confidently and aggressively, Penn State was ready to fight for 40 minutes.

At the half, the Hoosiers led it 44-27 behind forward Christian Watford's team-high 13 points and a defense that forced eight Penn State turnovers and collected four steals. But that didn't stop the Lions from pushing.

Penn State answered by forcing 12 Hoosier turnovers, and they limited Indiana to just 30 second-half points.

Junior guard Jermaine Marshall had 11 points and a Nittany Lion-high seven rebounds in the conference competition, and says that the way his team played in the final minutes against Indiana is the way it needs to continue to compete.

"We've got to get good stops and we've got to rebound and I think we did a lot of that in the second half," said Marshall. "We've got to take care of the ball and I think we played well in the second half but we've got to keep that up."

From the sideline, head coach Patrick Chambers agreed that his team was much more productive in the final 20 minutes of the game.

"We've got to go out and continue to play hard," said Chambers. "The positive is you hold a team like Indiana to 30 points. Now we've got to play like that for 40 minutes."

Against a top Big Ten team, Marshall and sophomore teammates D.J. Newbill and Ross Travis were stretched for 38 and 39 minutes of play on the evening. And although the number sounds draining, Marshall said that he and his fellow Lions wouldn't have it any other way.

"At this level it's definitely tiring," said Marshall. "But at the same time we're in shape and we've got to battle - that's what the Big Ten is. If we've got to play 40 minutes that's just what we've got to do and we've got to push through."

Penn State will look to continue building its 40-minute-long performance on the court as it hosts Northwestern on Thursday at 7 p.m. for its second conference battle of the week.

With a quick turnaround of events and just two days between games, Chambers said that this time of the season is one that he only knows how to embrace.

"This is the beauty of the Big Ten - no time to feel sorry for yourself," said Chambers. "Get back to work tomorrow."

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