Hoosiers Hold Off Penn State 67-61
Jan. 21, 2010
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Indiana's bench outscored the Penn State reserves 27-13, led by 15 points from senior Devan Dumes as the Hoosiers won at Penn State, 67-61, Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. The win was the first road triumph in the Tom Crean Era and the first road conference victory for the Hoosiers since February 23, 2008 when IU defeated Northwestern 85-82, a span of 13 conference road games.
"We knew were going to have to match their toughness, match their energy [and] I think we did," said Crean. "I'm very, very happy for my team- very happy how my coaches and staff found all the little tricks and nooks and crannies and all the motivational buttons to helpmake sure our team was ready to play tonight."
With the win, IU improved to 9-9 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten. Indiana never trailed in the game and built a 23-12 lead in he first half with 8:22 to go. However, PSU would get as close as five points, before IU went into halftime with a 35-28 lead.
The Nittany Lions came out the gate in the second half with great energy and tied the game at 40-40 on a free throw Chris Babb. Babb would miss the second and the Lions had one more chance to gain an advantage but Babb's three-pointer rimmed out.
Junior Verdell Jones III would hit a short jumper with 12:59 to go. On the next possession, Dumes would drain another triple and IU had a 45-40 advantage.
"[I'm] proud of the way the guys came in the game, especially Devan Dumas, the way that he played tonight," said Crean. "Everybody that played made a great contribution and it might have been free throws, it might have been a rebound, but when your own the road in a possession-by-possession game, everything is magnified and when you make those kinds of contribution, it makes your team feel really good about themselves- our guys should feel good about themselves. They earned a victory again tonight, [I'm] proud of them."
IU would lead 58-49 after a pair of free throws from freshman Derek Elston who had eight points and a team-high three blocked shots. Defensive stalwart Jeremiah Rivers was whistled for his fifth foul and PSU then responded with an 8-2 run to make it 60-57 on a layup by Andrew Ott with 4:15 to go.
The Hoosiers responded with a 5-0 run of their own when freshman Christian Watford grabbed two key offensive boards and Jones III drilled a three-pointer and added a jumper with 1:41 to go to make it 65-57.
The Nittany Lions would make it 65-61 with 39 seconds to go but sophomore Daniel Moore nailed two free throws and PSU would miss three three-point attempts as time ran out.
Watford would have 11 points and nine rebounds, freshman Jordan Hulls would added nine points and Rivers would add six.
After going one for 11 from long distance at Michigan last Thursday, the Hoosiers made nine of 20 three-point attempts. IU also had just 12 turnovers, six in each half. Defensively, the Cream and Crimson limited PSU to four of 22 shooting from three-point range.
"There was no panic in our guys' voices; there was no deer-in-the-headlight look," noted Crean. "Jeremiah Rivers fouled out and we bring the guys over for those quick seconds you get before you sub, I had him run that huddle because he needed to stay with them, they needed to know he was still in it even though he wasn't in the game. Those are the kinds of maturity things that help you withstand runs in a game and we made some really big plays. We had some big rebounds, Verdell [Jones III] made a huge play down the stretch, Danny Moore's free throws. I mean the list goes on and I'm really proud of the way that they found the way."
The Hoosiers return to the floor Sunday night for a 6 p.m., home game against Iowa.
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