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Jan. 8, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; JAN. 8, 2012 - Despite a barrage of 16 threes and 67 percent shooting from the arc by No. 12 Indiana (15-1; 3-1 Big Ten), Penn State (9-8, 1-3 Big Ten) fought valiantly and closed within two three times in the final minute before falling, 88-82, in front of a buzzing crowd at the Bryce Jordan Center Sunday.
The Hoosiers hit seven threes in a row in the first half and got 28 points on 7-of-9 from three from Jordan Hulls and 22 on 5-of-6 from three from Matt Roth to come within one trey of tying the Big Ten game record of 17 threes in a game set twice by the Hoosiers themselves.
Despite the shooting display from one the top shooting teams in the nation, Penn State would not relent, cutting double-digit deficits to five or less on four occasions and giving the Hoosiers all they could handle.
"Sixteen three's! Sixteen!" Penn State coach Patrick Chamber said. "For us to still have a chance at the end and not put our heads down and not sulk and feel sorry for ourselves and compete, we're headed in the right direction.
"There are no moral victories, I said (to the team) `We gave up 88 points, that's too much. We gave up 45 to Purdue. We've got to be a team that defends and rebounds. We can't out-score teams. That's not our identity. Our identity is scrappy and gritty for 40 minutes.' We didn't do that, so we will go back to work and try and get back to our identity."
Junior guard Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) led the Nittany Lions with 21 points and seven assists, posting his Big Ten leading seventh 20-point game of the season. Frazier fouled out with 1:34 remaining as the Lions attempted one final push for the upset. Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) added 20 points, his third 20-point outing of the year, for the Lions who matched a season-high with 82 points and shot 46 percent from the floor and 84 percent (21-25) from the foul line.
Indiana saw four players score in double-figures. Penn State held leading scorer Cody Zeller to 10 points and four boards, he entered the game averaging 14.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Christian Watford added 10 for an Indiana team that shot 51 percent from the floor and 24-32 at the foul line, but was forced into 16 turnovers as Penn State collected eight steals and committed just nine turnovers itself. The Lions dominated scoring in the paint, 36-10, getting a career high eight points from redshirt freshman Jon Graham (Baltimore, Md.) in his second career start, and scored 18 points off of turnovers.
"If you don't practice hard, and you don't practice with toughness, you're not going to beat Penn State," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "They're going to beat teams, there's no question about it. The other night (20-point win over Purdue) - that didn't look like a fluke to me. They play extremely hard. They battle. They go after it. He's taken some good players that were here and made them a lot better."
Penn State closed an 11-point Hoosier first half lead to two in the final minute of the half and trailed by five, 42-37, at the half. Indiana built its lead back to 11 mid-way through the second half and led 77-67 with 3:09 remaining when the Lions made a final surge that nearly delivered the upset.
Penn State used a number of runs to close the gap - most prominently a six-point surge capped by a drive and emphatic dunk from Marshall and a Marshall lay-in off an assist from Matt Glover (Orange, Calif.) on back-to-back possessions that got the Lions within two, 80-78, with 35 seconds remaining.
Indiana inbounded to Hulls who was immediately fouled and sank a pair of free throws. Glover took the ball, drove the floor and went straight to the rim - converting the lay-up to cut the lead to two again. Roth and Glover then traded free throws before Roth hit a pair to put the Hoosiers up 86-82. The Lions had an opportunity to pull within one as Nick Colella (New Castle, Pa.) used a screen from Glover to get an open three-point attempt with 13 seconds left. His shot came up just short, effectively ending Penn State's chances. Hulls iced the game with a pair of free throws.
Verdell Jones III opened the game with a fade-away jumper, but Glover answered with the first of his eight points on a lay-in to send a message to the Hoosiers that they were in for a battle. The teams traded baskets until Marshall laid-in a bucket at the 15:33 mark to give the Lions their only lead of the game, 8-7. Victor Oladipo and Hulls answered with threes for Indiana to push the IU lead back to 13-8.
Penn State stayed right with Indiana in a tightly contested first half. Every time the Hoosiers looked to be pulling away, the Lions responded with clutch basket after clutch basket. Christian Watford rained in his only field goals of the day on back-to-back threes, the last coming with 13:30 left in the first half and extending the IU lead to 19-12. Marshall and Hulls then traded threes as the Indiana took a 22-15 lead.
Penn State used a seven-point run over 1:18 to tie the score at 22-22. Frazier dropped in a three, Graham laid-in a pretty feed from Frazier, and Marshall knocked down another basket to tie the score. Indiana responded with three more from beyond the arc from Hulls and a Zeller dunk to push the lead to 33-23. The Hoosiers hit seven-straight threes over a four-minute stretch to gain the double-digit edge.
Penn State would not be turned away though. Down 11, 37-26, after Tom Pritchard's lay-up, freshman Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) responded by grabbing his own miss and throwing down thunderous dunk over two Hoosiers to spark a 9-0 run and bring the Lions within two, 37-35. The Lions clawed back, using a lay-up from Frazier, a Sasa Borovnjak (Belgrade, Serbia) fade-away jumper and an acrobatic play from Frazier that saw him navigate through the trees in the post, find the basket and get fouled. The Lions' leading-scorer then sank his free throw to cap the Penn State run.
Penn State was again within two with 38 seconds to go in the half when Colella fouled Roth on a three-point attempt with two seconds to play in the half. The Hoosier hit all three at the line for a five-point IU halftime edge, 42-37.
Indiana came out hot again in the second getting an opening three from Hulls and eventually pushing its lead back to double-digits, 49-39, on a Zeller lay-up with 17:23 to play. Penn State whittled the margin back to five after and Oliver three and back-to-back lay-ups from Marshall and Travis.
Roth hit a three and IU pushed its margin back to 10, 56-46, with 12:51 to play following a Victor Oladipo lay-up. Penn State came right back getting five straight points from Marshall, the last on a three, and a Frazier steal and lay-up to get within three, 56-53, with 10:20 left.
Three-straight Indiana threes, one from Remy Abell and two from Roth, had IU back up by 11, 65-54, with 8:37 to play. Penn State again took the blows and whittled the margin back, trailing by just five, 70-65, after back-to-back threes from Oliver, the last with 5:46 to play.
Indiana responded with back-to-back threes from Roth and suddenly led by 11 again, 76-65, with 4:25 to go. The Lions began their final push getting nine straight points at the foul line before Marshall's driving dunk.
The Nittany Lions return to action Wednesday night for their first-ever Big Ten match-up at Nebraska. That game will tip at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on the Big Ten Network.
The crowd of 8,250 marks the largest home crowd on the season.
In Jon Graham's second career start, he posted a new career high of eight points, going 3-3 from the field.
Frazier brings his double digit scoring record to 15 for the season and 25 overall. Marshall moves to 10 for the season and 11 overall.
Tim Frazier led the team in scoring for the 13th time this season, 15th time overall.
Frazier's 21-point game marks his seventh 20-point game of the season.
Jermaine Marshall's 20 points marks his third season and career game scoring 20 points.
Marshall and Frazier's shared 20-point game marks the second of the season. The last time the duo each scored 20 or more points was this season in the team's victory over Boston College.
Ross Travis led the Nittany Lions for the third time this season in rebounding, tallying six boards.
Frazier led the team in assists for the 17th time this season with seven assists.
The Nittany Lions were a force inside, upping the Hoosiers 36-10 points in the paint.
Penn State gave up 88 points to Indiana, the highest total for an opponent on the season.
Penn State's score of 82 tied the season high for scoring. The Nittany Lions previously tallied 82 points in the win over Youngstown State.
The Nittany Lions grabbed eight steals from the Hoosiers, marking the 11th game of the year with seven or more steals, five of which were in the last six games.