Nittany Lions Go Cold in Second Half, Lose at No. 11 Iowa 74-68

Story posted February 21, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

IOWA CITY, Iowa — It’s another tough loss for Penn State and one which could be the nail in the coffin for the Nittany Lions’ tournament hopes, falling in Iowa City to No. 11 Iowa 74-68.

The Nittany Lions were down but not out in the first half and even went on a run to go into the second half up five. But once the second half started, everything shifted, as Iowa’s Joe Wieskamp went to work. Wieskamp opened up the half with the team’s first nine points, while National Player of the Year frontrunner Luka Garza took a while to get going coming out of the locker room.

With 13:27 to go in the second, the Hawkeyes had their first lead of the half off of a Keegan Murray 3-pointer, and they would never look back. The Hawkeyes were further assisted by an almost six-minute Penn State scoring drought—even once that was broken, it was too late for a Nittany Lions comeback.

The Nittany Lions went from having one of their better shooting performances of the season to one of their worst. The team only made six shots in the second half altogether.

While the second half of the game was very similar to Nittany Lions’ previous contest against Ohio State, head coach Jim Ferry noted that there was a key difference between the two.

“Against Ohio State we took bad shots—I don’t think that was the case in this one,” Ferry said. “On the road, you’ve got to make those shots.”

Myreon Jones and Izaiah Brockington tied for the team lead in points, both ending up with 11. Jones only made three out of his 15 shots, however, while Brockington recorded seven points early on and went quiet since.

For the second straight game, the Penn State big men couldn’t avoid foul trouble. Against Luka Garza—one of the best foul-drawing big men in the conference—both John Harrar and Abdou Tsimbila ended up with four personals. This caused Harrar to miss a good amount of time at the end of the game, forcing Trent Buttrick in for heavy minutes.

The Nittany Lions also found themselves on the wrong side of history, as Garza became Iowa’s all-time leading scorer during the second half. Garza had 23 points in the Hawkeyes win.

Penn State will take Monday off before staying on the road for a Tuesday night showdown; they travel to Lincoln for a rematch against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

 

Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.