Aaron Yorke (@apy5000) January 08, 2013
Yeah, the Indiana versus Penn State basketball game from last night was nothing to write home about, but I’m going to write about it anyway because I’m not the busiest person in the world.
Probably because they had no one to guard Cody Zeller with, the Nittany Lions played zone defense for almost the entire game. While this did keep Zeller slightly below his season average with 15 points, it also allowed a sharp-shooting Indiana team to hit on 8 of 16 three-pointers. Meanwhile, Christian Watford drove to the basket early and often, ending up with game-highs in points (16) and rebounds (8).
It wasn’t too surprising that the Hoosiers were able to roll up the score on Penn State. Indiana is among the most efficient teams in the nation, and it was able to put 44 points on the board before the first half ended. A bizarre run of turnovers from both sides caused scoring to slow in a dreadful second half.
Surprisingly, the leading scorer for Penn State was Ross Travis, who was unusually aggressive with his jump shot when the Lions had the ball. The sophomore shot 6-for-17 from the field and had 14 points. The usual suspects for Penn State, Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill, had just 11 and 8 points, respectively. Newbill looked good on a couple of drives to the basket, but his jumper went way off and he shot just 3-for-15 from the floor. Marshall, on the other hand, shot 5-for-11 and led PSU with 7 rebounds.
The biggest disappointments on Penn State’s side were Nick Collela and Brandon Taylor. Collela — a player whose penchant for hustle has earned him captain status on Pat Chambers’ team — had been shooting well from three-point range recently, but last night he was terrible. Despite only playing 17 minutes, Collela turned the ball over three times and bricked a pair of three-point attempts.
Taylor has been a great addition to Penn State as a freshman this season, but he didn’t get a chance to shine against Indiana. That’s because he quickly accumulated two fouls in the first half and ended up fouling out after just 13 minutes of playing time. At least he managed to knock down his 20th three-pointer of the season before peacing out.
So, that was bascially it. Penn State could only manage a 31.7 percentage on field goals, which is nowhere near good enough to beat Indiana even on a bad night. Shooting continues to be a major issue for Penn State this season, but at least with Travis and Taylor gaining confidence in their respective games, there are more scoring options now than there appeared to be when Tim Frazier got hurt.