Penn State Looking to “Right the Ship” against Indiana
Penn State started the season 11-3, but have dropped their last two games to Michigan and Purdue. The team has struggled in many different phases over the last two games, and are looking to right the ship tonight as Indiana travels to the Bryce Jordan Center.
The blue and white has played well for stretches during their two-game losing streak, but they have not been able to sustain their success for 40 minutes. An example is the Nittany Lions led top-ranked Purdue at the half by six, but the Boilermakers opened the second half on a 12-0 run to pull away from Penn State.
After the loss, head coach Micah Shrewsberry explained that the blue and white were not playing the right way to win at the Palestra.
“We didn’t play with the same toughness, so we didn’t win,” Shrewsberry said. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance because we didn’t play with that time.”
The road does not get any easier when the Hoosiers come to University Park. Indiana is on their own skid, dropping their last two games to Iowa and Northwestern by a combined three points.
The Hoosiers are without two key players in guard Xavier Johnson and forward Race Thompson, who are both out with injuries. The team has relied on star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis to carry a lot of the load for Indiana.
Jackson-Davis is averaging over 17 points and nine boards a game, and doing so at an efficient 59.3% shooting percentage. Jackson-Davis is the third-straight star forward the Nittany Lions have faced, and will be a tough battle for the Penn State front court.
“He’s so different from those guys,” Shrewsberry said. “He’s good with his back to the basket, but he brings that element of quickness which we got to be ready for.”
If the Nittany Lions are going to win this game, they will need to fix their woes from behind the arc. Penn State shot 8-of-22 from three against Purdue, and 9-28 from deep against the Wolverines.
Penn State was one of the top teams in the nation from deep early in the season, but the recent struggles have hurt the blue and white. With Indiana’s ability to dominate inside with Jackson-Davis, it will be huge for shooters Andrew Funk and Myles Dread to knock down shots for Penn State in this huge conference game.
Andrew Funk especially needs to get going for the blue and white if they want to start to turn their fortunes around. Funk is 2-of-13 in his last two games from behind the arc, and has really struggled to find his stroke over the last two games.
Penn State lives and dies by the three in 2023, and it will be huge for them to hit the deep ball today when the Hoosiers and Nittany Lions face off at 7 p.m. Listen live on CommRadio with coverage beginning at 6:45.
Adam Sheetz is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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