Penn State Men’s Basketball vs. Iowa Game Preview
Currently on a three-game losing streak, the Nittany Lions are in a dire situation looking to get a win. This matchup at home against Iowa gives them a chance for redemption to bounce back and get back to .500 on the season.
In the loss to Indiana, the Nittany Lions trailed 46-17 at the half. This was the biggest deficit all season and the largest point value Penn State has allowed in a half all year. The Hoosiers started the game going 5-of-6 from the floor with three of those made buckets being beyond the arc that gave them a 15-2 lead early on.
Defense has been the key to success for Penn State, but they struggle to spark comebacks when trailing by a significant number. Especially when their offense is stagnant.
The main reason for Penn State’s recent struggles comes from their offense. In their recent losses, they are averaging 54.6 points a game. Before this mark they were averaging 67.2. They now sit last in the Big Ten in total offense with 1105 points this season.
Jalen Pickett has been the only consistent player for their offense scoring double digits in 10 consecutive games. After trailing behind Sam Sessoms and Seth Lundy, Pickett leads the team in scoring averaging 13.4 a game.
If Penn State wants to continue to be competitive in the Big Ten, the Nittany Lions will have to find their offensive identity. Lundy has scored a combined 13 points in the last two games on 5/19 combined shooting.
Keegan Murray is the best scorer in the Big Ten. He’s averaging 22.4 points a game with two games in which he scored 35 points. He’s struggled in his last three games averaging just 14 a game well below his season average.
Thankfully for the Hawkeyes, they have Keegan Murray’s twin brother Kris Murray who can drop 20 any given night. Whenever it is Keegan Murray’s off night, brother Kris steps up to the challenge by providing for the team offensively.
Jordan Bohannon and Patrick McCaffery are two returning players that played big roles last year. Bohannon is a sharpshooter from the outside averaging 2.3 threes a game.
A big portion of Iowa’s scoring comes on the fast break. The second they get the rebound they are pushing the pace looking to get a quick basket. Therefore, they are averaging 82.6 points a game. Iowa’s last win came against Penn State just over a week ago
Iowa has a lot of talent, but Penn State has plenty of experience. It has been a reoccurring theme that there are no easy wins in the Big Ten. Keegan Murray will get his points, It will all come down to the how Penn State responds offensively.
This will be Penn State’s first home game in 20 days who is in need for a win. Already playing against the Hawkeyes earlier this year, they will be prepared and hungry to battle it out. The Nittany Lions are 6-3 at home this season and will earn a much-needed victory.
Penn State 70, Iowa 67
Austin Groft is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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