Penn State basketball never led, sputtering from the start in a 74-57 loss to Indiana at Assembly Hall.
The defeat moves the Nittany Lions to 8-9 on the season and 3-6 in conference play.
Let’s take a look at some takeaways from the game.
1. Penn State can’t stop Indiana steamroller
The start to what would become a totally disastrous first half for Penn State seemed innocuous enough.
Indiana began the game on a 12-0 run. It certainly wasn’t ideal from the perspective of the Nittany Lions. But the Hoosiers are a good team. Assembly Hall is a great environment. Indiana would likely be motivated by a loss to Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center and a blowout loss to Michigan over the weekend.
Certainly, the run would lose steam and things would level out, right?
Penn State’s offense never got off the ground, and the Hoosiers couldn’t miss.
By the time the first half was over, the Nittany Lions were down 46-17.
Indiana made 16 of its 28 field goal attempts, including 6-8 from three-point range. They grabbed five offensive rebounds off their 12 missed field-goal attempts, and another two off of missed free throws.
The game was over by the midway point of the first half.
2. PSU’s first-half offensive disaster
Let’s talk some more about just how bad that first half was for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State made five of its 30 field goal attempts. It turned the ball over seven times, giving the Nittany Lions two more giveaways than made shots.
Crucially, they shot only 1-10 from the three-point line in the first 20 minutes.
Not all of the looks were perfect, but Penn State missed far more than its fair share of open shots. From range, especially, the Nittany Lions just couldn’t find it, even without a hand in their face.
A couple of makes could have handed the Nittany Lions a lifeline. Instead, they rolled down the mountain until they reached the very bottom, unable to find their footing.
It was a continuation of an ugly offensive performance against Iowa in Iowa City. Penn State scored a season-low 51 points in that game, and seemed primed to do themselves one better.
In its last three games, Penn State has not surpassed the 60-point threshold.
3. Second-half outburst helps clean up the boxscore
The final score was never an indication of this game’s competitiveness, but it did speak to a nice effort from the Nittany Lions in the second half.
Penn State outscored the hosts 40-28 in the final frame, shooting 15-30 from the field.
The Nittany Lions also benefitted from nine offensive rebounds to Indiana’s one in the second half, giving themselves plenty of opportunities as they made the score look more respectable.
Jalen Pickett and Myles Dread spurred the improved showing, which saw the Nittany Lions connect on 8 of their 16 threes.
Pickett made four of them, finishing the second half with 14 points. Dread hit three for his nine points.
It wasn’t enough to make the Hoosiers feel any game pressure, though, and the Nittany Lions suffered a third road loss in a row.