Apparently, the Indiana Hoosiers haven’t gotten over their disappointing one-point loss to the Maryland Terrapins at home on January 26.
Three days later, Indiana (15-5) hoped to bounce back with its second road victory of the season as the Cream and Crimson took on the Penn State Nittany Lions (14-5) at the Bryce Jordan Center.
One would expect an angry IU team taking out its frustrations on Penn State. Instead, a Hoosiers’ second-half collapse did them in.
Indiana hung tough with Penn State in the first half with big men Trayce Jackson-Davis and De’Ron Davis (no relation) – IU’s version of the Pacers’ Davis Boys – making the biggest impact in the early going. The former scored 10 points (including two dunks) while the latter scored six points (four above his season average).
However, senior guard Curtis Jones matched Jackson-Davis’ output in the first 20 minutes of play. Penn State’s leading scorer, senior forward Lamar Stevens (16.7 ppg), complemented Jones nicely with eight points. Indiana and Penn State scored 28 points apiece before halftime.
Sorry Second Half Sinks Hoosiers Against Penn State
Suddenly, the bottom fell out on the Hoosiers.
IU kept pace with Penn State for the first 12 minutes of the second half. However, the Hoosiers just couldn’t get things going on the offensive end.
Stevens’ layup made it 50-39 in favor of the Nittany Lions with 7:17 left in the game. Penn State went on an 11-2 run to establish a commanding 20-point lead four minutes later.
Final score: Penn State 64, Indiana 49.
It was the lowest output for the Hoosiers this season. The Hoosiers shot an abysmal 33.3 percent for the game. The backcourt just couldn’t get it going – guards Rob Phinisee, Al Durham, Armaan Franklin, and Devonte Green combined for 3-for-26 shooting.
Trayce Jackson-Davis led the way for IU with 14 points and seven rebounds. Justin Smith had 13 points and seven boards.
Stevens had 17 points and nine rebounds for Penn State. Jones scored 12 points off the bench for the Nittany Lions.
Ohio State Extends Indiana’s Losing Streak to Three
All season long, IU has been a great at home (14-2). However, the Hoosiers have struggled mightily on the road (1-4).
Unfortunately, the Cream and Crimson’s road woes continued as IU lost its third consecutive game with a 68-59 defeat against the Ohio State Buckeyes (14-7) on February 1.
The first half spelled the difference for the Hoosiers with the Buckeyes outscoring them, 31-22, and OSU built on that lead in the second half.
With the Buckeyes leading 45-36, junior guard C.J. Walker buried a triple to give Ohio State a 12-point lead. Walker, who scored 14 points, filled in for third-leading scorer, D.J. Carton (10.4 ppg). The latter has gone on an indefinite leave of absence due to mental health issues.
Three-and-a-half minutes later, Buckeyes sophomore forward Justin Ahrens made two triples in a span of 35 seconds and just like that, OSU led IU by 18 points as the Buckeyes went on to win, 68-59.
With the victory, Ohio State avenged a 12-point loss (66-54) at Indiana on January 11. The loss was IU’s seventh in 22 games this season. It was also the Hoosiers’ sixth defeat in 11 Big Ten Conference games. Thus, they fell to eighth in the Big Ten.
Junior forward Kaleb Wesson led the Buckeyes with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Ahrens, who averages barely four points per game, scored 11 off the bench.
Senior guard Devonte Green led IU with 13 points. Sophomore guard Rob Phinisee had 11 points for the Hoosiers.
Hoosiers Odds for Their Upcoming Game Against Purdue
The Indiana Hoosiers (15-7) are on a season-high three game losing streak, but they have two things going for them prior to their game against their conference in-state rivals, the Purdue Boilermakers, on February 8.
First off, Indiana has homecourt advantage. IU’s battle cry this season has been “Home Sweet Home” – the Hoosiers have won 14 of their 16 games at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall this season.
Second, IU should benefit from a week-long break. The Hoosiers have been in an offensive funk since their heartbreaking one-point loss to the Maryland Terrapins at home on January 26. Barring any rust, the seven-day break should give Archie Miller’s crew time to recuperate physically and mentally.
The Boilermakers (12-10) have struggled all season long. They’ve alternated wins and losses for the most part. The Hoosiers must keep Purdue’s leading scorer and rebounder, sophomore forward Trevion Williams (11.3 ppg, 7.7 ppg), in check to regain their mojo.
Hoosiers odds, Hoosiers over/under, and Hoosiers moneyline should trend up slightly in IU’s favor against Purdue because of the former’s better overall record. Both squads have identical 5-6 records in Big Ten Conference play.