Penn State Defeats Indiana in First Game After Covid Stoppage
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State opened the new year off with a huge win over Indiana giving Micah Shrewsberry his first Big Ten win.
After not playing for 22 days, Penn State was able to overcome a long pause due to COVID-19 issues within the program. This break in the season did not affect its gameplay, getting a win over Mike Woodson’s 10-2 team.
“Hats off to our guys. How they competed and what they did tonight… They are setting the standard for how we want to play. If you want to win in the Big Ten, this is how you have to compete,” said Shrewsberry.
Greg Lee earned his first start as a Nittany Lion after seeing some playing time against Michigan State. His presence will be vital down the road on offense being another outside scoring option for coach Shrewsberry.
The entire game was hard fought featuring two teams who placed their pride on the defensive side of the ball. Coming into the game Indiana was first in the Big Ten allowing only 61 points per game while Penn State sat at fifth, allowing 65 per game.
The key for Penn State in this game was stopping All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis. In the first half, it held him to only six points on five field goals.
Jackson-Davis was visibly frustrated starting the second half with two ferocious dunks. He ended with game-high 20 points after being able to expose some miss-matches in the paint.
Penn State starting center John Harrar left the game with seven minutes to go after rolling his ankle, which was not a good sign for the Nittany Lions as he was battling with Jackson-Davis all night.
With three minutes to go, Harrar comes back into the game displaying Penn State’s mindset.
“John Harrar goes out, but he’s dying to get back in. Him coming back, that’s the attitude of our team is fight,” said Shrewsberry.
Penn State’s defense looked strong tonight holding Indiana to season low 58 points. Everyone was active on defense extending their arms out to cut off driving lanes and cause deflections. This is the centerpiece Shrewsberry has been focusing on at practice.
Despite getting dominated in the paint being outscored 28-14, a big reason Penn State won this game came from its three-point shooting. They shot 50% from deep hitting 11 threes as a collective group.
The three-point line has been a factor of success for Penn State as they are now averaging 9.8 made threes in its six wins. On the flip side, they are averaging only 6.4 made threes on 28% shooting in its five losses.
“Us making threes is a huge part of how we play, but we took good threes. We shoot 40% uncontested threes, and we shoot 28% contested threes. Coming into this week we wanted to take more uncontested threes,” said Shrewsberry.
Myles Dread was locked in, being a sharpshooter tonight. He had several crucial threes finishing the game with 12 points.
“He really pushed himself at practice. When he shoots uncontested threes, they go in. What he has done since we have come back has been great,” said Shrewsberry.
Jalen Pickett’s confidence is continuing to boost the Nittany Lion offense. He led the team with 15 tonight and has scored double figures in six of the team’s last seven games.
Indiana is still without a road win this year and has not won on the road since Feb. 10 in 2021.
The Nittany Lions have a quick turnaround and will play against Northwestern on Jan. 5. The Wildcats are coming off a home loss to No. 10 Michigan State in a close game.
Austin Groft is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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