Game Grades: Men’s Basketball vs. Iowa

Story posted February 29, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Jack McCune

No. 16 Penn State (21-8, 11-7) lost to No. 18 Iowa (20-9, 11-7) 77-68 Saturday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. The loss makes the Nittany Lions 1-3 in their last four efforts after an eight-game winning streak. Let’s hand out grades to each of the Penn State units from the game.

Offense: B-

The Nittany Lion offense did its best to keep the game close against a team that scores almost 80 points per game. Penn State had good play design and open looks throughout the day, but the issue was that the shots just weren’t going in. The team shot just 37.1% from the field as well as 32.3% from three.

The offense thought it would get some much-needed scoring help back with Myreon Jones returning to the court for the first time since Penn State’s win at Michigan State in early February. But he was anything but help Saturday, recording just four points on 2-of-9 shooting in 23 minutes.

Twenty points from Lamar Stevens and a career-high 19 points from Seth Lundy were just not enough to stop the high-powered Iowa offense.

Defense: B-

The first time the Nittany Lions faced the Hawkeyes this year on January 4 at the Palestra, the Nittany Lions secured an 89-86 victory despite allowing Iowa’s Luka Garza to dominate with 34 points and 12 rebounds. And the big man was just as dominant on Saturday, recording 25 points with seven offensive rebounds. It didn’t matter who was defending him – he’s too strong for Stevens and Lundy, too fast and athletic for John Harrar and too skilled for Mike Watkins.

Dominant bigs have been an issue for Penn State’s defense all season long. The Nittany Lions will have to look at better ways to stop them as tournament play inches closer.

Coaching: B+

Head coach Pat Chambers was enthusiastic on the sidelines as always. And strategically, he did almost all he could. The shots just weren’t going down, and nothing was stopping Garza. 

With just two regular season games left, it will be intriguing to see if Chambers will still experiment with minute changes, particularly with Jones back. He, Lundy, Myles Dread and Stevens all played over 20 minutes Saturday, but Chambers has been changing minutes game-by-game.

 

 

Jack McCune is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jxm1237@psu.edu.