Game Grades: Penn State vs. Iowa
Penn State looked for revenge Wednesday night as they took on Iowa at the Bryce Jordan Center. The fourth-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes (20-5) handed the Nittany Lions (12-13) one of their heaviest losses on the season on Feb. 3, as Penn State struggled to create offensive chances. These problems were rectified in the second meeting, with the Lions scoring 10 3s on their way to a shocking 79-75 win. Donovon Jack had 19 points and five rebounds for Penn State, while Iowa’s Peter Jok scored a game-high 28.
Shep Garner had one of his more impressive games shooting wise. He went 4 of 7 from behind the arc and shot 60 percent from the field, racking up 18 points on the night. Though he faded slightly after a strong start to the game, Garner was able to maintain consistent shooting throughout the contest. The sophomore also put in a nice effort on defense, particularly on Iowa’s last drive, shutting down any possible 3-point attempt that would allow the Hawkeyes back into the game. The same could not be said for backcourt teammate Josh Reaves, who struggled. He ended up with two points and five personal fouls for the game.
Brandon Taylor came close to yet another double-double, but fell short with 18 points and nine rebounds. Despite this, he had a pretty balanced game overall, adding three assists as well. Yet again, he remained a go-to option in crucial moments, continuing the theme of the current season. Peyton Banks and Jordan Dickerson contributed eight and four points respectively, though the duo didn’t find much success against Iowa’s big men. Foul trouble plagued the frontcourt at the end of the game, with each of the three players picking up four personal fouls, most coming within the final five minutes. This allowed Iowa to make the game closer than it should’ve been.
Donovon Jack led the way with big minutes off the bench, scoring a career-high 19 points and grabbing five boards along the way. His inside presence proved effective for Penn State’s offense, and his movement saw him get free for several open baskets. On the defensive end, the senior came up with two blocks, one of those coming at a crucial time with two minutes left in the game. Isaiah Washington scored nine points, but also committed five turnovers. Julian Moore wasn’t able to make an effect on the game at all with his less than impressive one-point night. While Donovon Jack had an excellent night, the rest of the bench contributed little in terms of positive play.
The Nittany Lions were able to win the game, but this was despite their poor game management. The team as a whole had a poor end to the game defensively, with Iowa able to close a 10-point gap and force a nervy finish. A majority of Iowa’s points during this stretch were gifted to them through inopportune fouling by the Penn State defense. Penn State also committed 15 turnovers in the game, many being unforced errors. Chambers could’ve done more to ensure his team managed the game better, especially in the final stretch.
Jordan Hall is a freshman majoring in print journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.