Penn State vs. Indiana Preview

Story posted February 12, 2014 in Sports, CommRadio by Zach Lacher

Penn State is looking to snap a two game losing skid tonight against the Indiana Hoosiers. The Nittany Lions are coming off a tough 60-55 defeat last Sunday at the hands of their Big Ten rival Illinois.

Penn State junior guard DJ Newbill is continuing to impress, averaging a little over 17 PPG and coming off a 19 point, six rebound performance against Illinois. Newbill’s teammate Tim Frazier is looking to rebound after a rare subpar game in which he only recorded 11 points and two assists, well below his season averages of 16.2 PPG and 6 APG.

Indiana’s 14-9 record doesn’t describe the deep talent pool on its roster. The Hoosiers opened the season hot out of the gate, jumping out to a 10-3 start. However, they’ve slowed down since the start of their Big Ten schedule, going only 4-6 in their last ten games.

Indiana has shown potential despite a couple of disappointing losses to Nebraska and Northwestern. The Hoosiers managed to knock off No.3 Wisconsin in a 75-72 nail-bitter and No.10 Michigan 63-52 behind a game high 27 points from sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell.

Ferrell, who is averaging almost a little over 17 points and 4 assists per game, will look to make an impact when the Lions come to town. 

The Indianapolis native will be flanked by freshman phenom Noah Vonleh, who is essentially putting up a double-double a game from the forward position, averaging 11.7 point and 9.5 rebounds per contest.

Coming down the latter half of the season, this has to be treated as a must win for both teams.

Penn State is sitting at 12-12 (3-8 in conference play) and Indiana has a 4-6 mark in the Big Ten. Both teams appear to be on the outside looking in.

This is a position that the Hoosiers aren’t used to being in. Indiana sported a 20-3 (8-2 B1G) record through the first 23 games a season ago.

The Lions, despite their record, have played tough in big games this season, and although hustle points don’t show up on the score sheet, they have played the better teams close this season.

Penn State was rewarded for its effort during a signature 71-70 overtime road upset over the No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes that was highlighted by a last second baseline jumper from Newbill that sealed the victory.

It will be interesting to see how both teams come out, but look for the dynamic duos of these teams in Newbill and Frazier for Penn State and Indiana’s Ferrell and Vonleh to set the tone early in this contest. The opening tip is scheduled for 7p.m. at Assembly Hall.

Zachary Lacher is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zjl5023@psu.edu.

Photo Courtesy: (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Abby Drey)