Penn State Holds Off Indiana, 65-55
Jan. 17, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -Penn State got 48 points senior Stanley Pringle (19), senior Jamelle Cornley (17) and sophomore Talor Battle (12) and the Nittany Lions held off Indiana 65-55, Saturday night in Assembly Hall.
"When you out rebound a team like Penn State, you guard the three-point line so much better, and you hold a team that rebounds it as well as they do you don't think you are going to lose by 10," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "I am proud of the fact that we fought back. I am proud we never backed away from them. They've got three outstanding players in Cornley, Battle and Pringle and certainly it is indicative of the way they scored points. We locked into those guys and they made some tough plays."
Penn State never trailed and built its biggest lead of the game at 27-13 with 7:40 to go in the first half. The Hoosiers were able to cut it to 31-23 at halftime, thanks to a conventional three-point play by junior Devan Dumes, who finished with a team-high 13 points for Indiana.
Indiana played in front of a season-high crowd of 15,626, thanks in large part to a student promotion which offered $5 balcony tickets.
"It was a great crowd," said Penn State Coach Ed DeChellis. "Their (Indiana) kids were playing hard. I give Tom (Crean) a great deal of credit because he has his kids focused and playing hard. I've been there before. It's all about making a play when you need to make it."
The Hoosiers continued to fight throughout the second half. The held their own defensively, limiting PSU to 40.7% shooting from the field and 28.6% accuracy from three-point range in the final 20 minutes. In addition, PSU was limited to just three offensive rebounds after coming into the game averaging nearly 12 per game.
"When we started to make little runs, our lack of maturity basketball-wise caught up with us," added Crean. "We take away our momentum so much right now and we have to continue to get through that. We are going to start to have more competition in practice."
The Hoosiers cut the lead to 31-25 on the first possession of the second half on a layup by freshman Nick Williams. After seeing Penn State build an 11-point advantage, Indiana cut it again to 49-43 on a layup by senior Kyle Taber with 5:06 to go. Penn State had appeared to ice the game on a long three by Pringle which made it 57-47.
However, freshman Matt Roth would hit back-to-back three-pointers and Dumes would add a layup with 40 seconds left to make it 59-55.
"We have to continue to become a more physical basketball team, which we showed signs of," said Crean. "We've got to continue to defend better. We had some very good stretches tonight and we had some not-so-good stretches."
For the fifth straight game in league play, Indiana won the battle of the boards, 32-25. Besides Dumas' 13 points, freshman Tom Pritchard had 12 points and five boards and Williams added 10 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Verdell Jones III had eight points and four assists and senior Kyle Taber had four points and eight rebounds.
Indiana will have the next eight days off before facing 17th ranked Minnesota, Sunday, January 25 at Noon. Again, all balcony tickets for the entire public will be on sale for $5. Close to 1,500 of those seats were bought by students for the Penn State game with less than 24 hours notice.
"Our crowd was fantastic," said Crean. "My hat is off to all our fans who came and to Fred Glass and our department for putting together something like that. It just shows everybody in this community, in this University and certainly our players that we are going to continue to everything we can do to make this season better. There was a great buzz in the building tonight and they stayed with us. We just have to continue to pound away at getting better."
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