Nittany Lions lose close game once again
After what many would consider to be the most ugly defeat of the season in a 60-39 loss to Northwestern, the Penn State Nittany Lions (15-14, 3-13 B1G) extended their losing streak to five by falling to the Iowa Hawkeyes (19-10, 10-6 B1G) in overtime Saturday afternoon.
With just under 30 seconds remaining in overtime, senior forward Aaron White stole an inbounds pass from D.J. Newbill to Geno Thorpe, forcing a foul and free throws. White hit both shots from the line to help seal the deal.
On the other end, junior center Jordan Dickerson fought for an offensive rebound drawing a foul, but missed one of the free throws. White sealed the game by converting on four more foul shots extending the Hawkeyes’ winning streak to four.
“Let’s give Aaron White credit,” said Pat Chambers afterwards. “A senior who stepped up on the road, made all his free throws and came up with a big steal when he had to.”
Although the Nittany Lions have now dropped five in a row, they received aggressive play from their big men. Senior forward Ross Travis, freshman forward Julian Moore and Dickerson, all combined for 19 rebounds (nine offensive).
Penn State came out firing as Shep Garner (5-11 shooting) hit his first four threes as part of a 20-5 run. PSU led 23-11 with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half.
“They came out on fire,” said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery of the Nittany Lions.
The latter ten minutes of the 1st half were a completely different story as junior F Jarrod Uthoff and senior G Josh Ogelsby rained four threes in a six-minute span. Their clutch shooting (7 threes in the game) propelled the Hawkeyes on a 20-6 run to close the half.
“You want him to earn aggressive points,” said McCaffery of Uthoff and that’s exactly what he did.
The 2nd half was back and forth until with 11:24 remaining, Penn State turned the ball over three straight times, leading to six straight Hawkeye points and an aggressive slam dunk from Gabriel Olaseni (2-8 shooting).
Chambers said after the game, “Turnovers really hurt us and we fouled them and they shot really good fouls.”
The Nittany Lions would not give up, however, as the quiet Brandon Taylor (1-5) hit a three to cap a 12-3 run, giving Penn State a 66-64 lead. With 17 seconds left, D.J. Newbill (7-19 shooting) hit two free throws to send the game into overtime.
The Nittany Lions played hard for all 40 minutes and forcing overtime with Iowa was the result.
Shep Garner said of himself and Newbill, “We’re playing more and more together and we’re used to playing with each other now.”
Although Newbill hit those clutch foul shots, it was the free throws that cost Penn State the game. They finished 13-20, compared to Iowa’s 25-27.
White finished 11-12 from the free throw line converting on his final six with fewer than 30 seconds in overtime.
“Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds (of free throws) when were not in session and we stress it in the offseason,” said McCaffery
Next up for the Nittany Lions, an even more challenging meeting with the Ohio State Buckeyes on Wednesday night.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark)
Michael Carnuccio is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.