Game Grades: Indiana
Penn State had an opportunity to make a huge leap towards the NCAA Tournament but fell short against Indiana. Here are the game grades for the Nittany Lions against the Hoosiers.
Tony Carr was the driving force for Penn State for most of the night as he led all scorers with 28 points. He was consistently getting into the lane and drawing fouls against Indiana as he attempted 10 free throws. The one problem with Carr’s game was his ball control as he coughed the ball up five times with many of them being poor passes from over penetrating the defense.
Nazeer Bostick stepped in for Josh Reaves on the perimeter and his play was up and down, to say the least. His defense was solid as he forced Robert Johnson to take tough shots throughout the night. Bostick struggled on the offensive end of the floor as he was unable to get into a rhythm as he was 2-6 on the night, but hit a late 3-pointer to close the gap to a one-possession game.
Shep Garner was 2-4 from behind the arc, but he was in foul trouble throughout the night. Penn State’s guards were able to score, but their struggles with turnovers and foul trouble make it hard for the grade to be higher than it is.
Lamar Stevens and Mike Watkins were the second and third scoring options that the Nittany Lions needed against the Hoosiers. Stevens was the driving force for Penn State in the opening half as he was the only player that was able to get his shot off. His 20 points on 9-15 shooting showed that he is capable of dominating his opponents from 20 feet and in.
Watkins had another double-double in the game as he was able to get his shot off against the Hoosiers’ frontcourt. He only scored 10 points but was 4-4 from the floor and his four offensive rebounds gave Penn State extra possessions on the offensive end. The only negative about the frontcourt was the lack of defense as Watkins failed to record a block while allowing Juwan Morgan to go for 21 points and 11 rebounds.
One of Penn State’s biggest problems throughout conference play has been the play of its bench and it was an issue against the Hoosiers. Jamari Wheeler was the only Nittany Lion to score off the bench with his single point from the free throw line. Wheeler’s defense was terrific as he blocked two shots and was a consistent pest for the Hoosiers.
Julian Moore and Satchel Pierce did not do a lot for the Nittany Lions as they were just fill-ins for Watkins. The lack of scoring punch for the bench players was evident as the three players combined to attempt only three shots.
Head coach Patrick Chambers was inconsistent throughout the night as he was able to get the Nittany Lions into the game late, but lost with his team shooting 50 percent from the floor. His defensive work was good from behind the arc as Indiana was 22.2 percent from behind the arc.
Chambers’ inability to get Penn State over the hump dampers his grade as the Nittany Lions had numerous opportunities to take the lead in the second half, but were unable to take one.
Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.