Penn State improved to 12-15 on the season and 4-10 in Big Ten play on Saturday afternoon with a 69-64 victory against Iowa at the Bryce Jordan Center. Today, we take a look at the high and low points of the Nittany Lions' effort and hear the thoughts of players and coaches on the game. For more on the win, be sure to check out our game stream.
-Penn State really shared the wealth in this one as eight players tallied on the evening and four finished the night with double-figure scoring. That balance took pressure off leading scorer Tim Frazier in the second half, allowing him to finish with 18 points despite scoring just four in the first half. The more of that Penn State can do in the future, the better for their chances as the schedule stiffens down the stretch.
-The Lions turned the ball over just eight times in the game and three times in the second half. Their discipline helped them get up four extra shots on the Hawkeyes, which proved to be huge in a tight game.
-This will be talked about elsewhere on the site today, but Jonathan Graham's career-high 10 points to go with six rebounds bears mention in this space, too. His free throws with 25 seconds left to put the game on two possessions, especially, showed real mental strength and growth from this big man who could be a big part of this team's future if he continues putting together performances like that.
-Penn State got to the line 28 times in this game after visiting the stripe just seven times against Iowa in Iowa City on Feb. 4.
-Penn State finished the evening 5-of-17 from three-point territory. That's bad not only in percentage, but volume, too. This team has had trouble realizing when it doesn't have its stroke this year, and Thursday night was another example. Players need to look for higher percentage shots more often when they're missing the mark so often from deep, even at home.
-The Lions let Iowa guard Matt Gatens shake lose for 19 second-half points after holding him to just two in the first.
-Penn State let Iowa back into the game with lazy possessions after its lead swelled to 16 points at the beginning of the second half. Players and coaches alike have talked about playing "40 minutes of Penn State basketball" to get a win countless times this year, but with victory well in hand, the Lions failed to keep the pedal down. We'll see if they learned their lesson after this near-scare.
Graham on Frazier in the second half: "He was just being the Tim Frazier that we know of. We knew that he was going to come out and attack, he was just going to be aggressive ... he's going to make the right plays and that's why he's our leader."
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery on Frazier: "He's a handful. He's going to have the ball all the time. I think one of the things that worked [in the first half was], the zone limited him a little bit but he still made a couple of big hoops when we really needed a stop. He seems to be able to find a seam and make something happen. It's almost like if he gets less than 20 points you feel pretty happy about yourself."
Penn State coach Patrick Chambers on Cammeron Woodyard, who scored 13 points and grabbed three rebounds in the win: "He's got a clear mind. He's playing with confidence. He's doing the little things: he's defending, he's rebounding. I mean, he got in foul trouble, I'm sure he would have had more rebounds and probably more points. So he's crucial right now. He's crucial for Tim, especially at home."
Penn State coach Patrick Chambers talking about Matt Gatens' big second half and Tim Frazier's foul trouble in the first half.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery speaks about Iowa's offensive effort.
Penn State guard Cammeron Woodyard talking about the victory.