Penn State fell to 9-8 on the season Sunday afternoon with an 88-82 loss against Indiana at the Bryce Jordan Center. Today, we take a look at the high and low points of the Nittany Lions' effort and hear from the players and coaches thoughts on the game. Check out our full game recap here. Check out video below.
-The fundamentals have been problems for Penn State at times this season, but they were not against Indiana. The Lions committed just nine turnovers on the afternoon and shot an effective 21-of-25 (84 percent) from the foul line, all against a solid opponent. If Sunday is proof of anything about this team it's that when it plays a responsible game, it can compete with anyone.
-The Lions got a combined 16 points and nine rebounds from freshmen forwards Ross Travis and Jonathan Graham. Both guys have had their ups and downs this season, but if the game against Indiana is any indication, they're beginning to "get it" just four games into their Big Ten careers. That's not to say the road ahead will lack bumps, but even though there's room for growth, these two are already making an impact. That's good not just for this season, but especially moving forward.
-Penn State shot a respectable 45.8 percent for the game. It's certainly not Indiana's gaudy 51.1 percent figure, but it will be enough to keep the Lions in most games if they can keep it up. A big part of this was good shot selection, something Penn State can control, even when it's not shooting well. If the Lions cut down on some of the bad shots we've seen them take at times this season and focus on the kinds of looks they got against the Hoosiers, that will be a step in the right direction.
-Indiana put Penn State down by double digits multiple times and the Lions battled back to within 10 every single time. That shows a lot of fight. It would have been easy to pack up down by those margins against a good Indiana team, and make not mistake, in years past, Penn State would have. Under Patrick Chambers' leadership, though, the tenacity is evident.
-Obviously, Indiana's 16-24 performance from 3-point territory was ghastly. Of course, guys like Jordan Hulls (7-of-9 from the perimeter for 28 points) and Matt Roth (5-of-6 from the perimeter for 22 points) were going to hit a fair number as hot as they were on Sunday. The 66.7 rate Indiana shot as a team, though, far exceeds anything that should be acceptable for this team. Defensive rotation must improve.
-Cammeron Woodyard played sparingly, still bothered by a hamstring injury. Penn State could sure use him back at full strength. His 3-point shot pulls defenses out and opens up looks for others.
-Penn State was outrebounded 33-28 in the game. That's not all bad, given the Lions took 12 more shots than the Hoosiers thanks to forced turnovers and offensive boards, but the negative margin is a sad commentary on just how hot Indiana was from the field.
Chambers on Ross Travis: "Those freshmen, they're on peaks and valleys. He went through his valley and now he's on his way up. That's a freshman playing a big time game. Unfortunately for him, that's what I expect now."
Indiana coach Tom Crean on Penn State's Billy Oliver, who scored nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from the perimeter: "I was impressed with his footwork on film, but seeing his footwork now and in person it's really, really good. He cuts hard and they did some good things to free him up."
Point guard Tim Frazier's on the team's feelings after the close loss: "We're not satisfied. The bottom line is that we still lost and we believe we could have beat that team."
Penn State coach Pat Chambers.
Indiana coach Tom Crean.
Penn State players Tim Frazier and Jermaine Marshall.