Penn State Falls to Iowa in Late Comeback
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions returned to the Bryce Jordan Center for the final time before hitting the road again for a game against the University of Iowa Hawkeyes (15-3, 4-3 B1G). Penn State (7-11, 0-7 B1G) led for just over 24 minutes of the game, but faltered down the stretch and dropped their fifth straight game 89-82.
“I felt like we really competed and came back after Michigan State [on Sunday],” Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers said. “It’s unfortunate that our defense wasn’t as good as it was all season long.”
Penn State had one of its hottest starts of the season when freshman guard Myles Dread hit three 3-pointers to jump out to an 11-3 lead in the first three minutes of play. Dread finished with 14 points with 12 of those points coming from deep.
Iowa climbed out of the hole by going on a 12-0 run late in the half, fueled by a triplet of 3-pointers from redshirt junior guard Isaiah Moss.
Moss totaled 12 points on the night and went 4 of 4 from three, and the other three points in that run came from junior forward Ryan Kriener who had 15 points.
“We right there and we did everything we could to put ourselves in that position,” Penn State senior forward Josh Reaves said. “We got to go back and watch the film and make sure it never happens again.”
Even with a strong Hawkeye run to finish out the first half, the Nittany Lions still led at halftime 45-40, their first lead at the 20 minute mark since late-December against UMBC. Penn State shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, along with seven 3-pointers in the first half to pad their lead.
“We played with a lot of pace and tempo, and I thought Jamari Wheeler played fantastic,” Chambers said. “He really got the tempo going for us.”
The second half of the game was a lot closer than the first, as the lead changed hands seven times despite Penn State’s ability to lead for 12:30 of the half. Iowa lit up the scoreboard, scoring 49 points in the half on 58 percent shooting.
“Coming down the stretch, [sophomore forward Luka] Garza was great,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “You have to give [Penn State] credit for how they fought in that situation.”
Garza led the Hawkeyes with 22 points, 14 points of which came in the second half, and 12 rebounds. Right alongside Garza was junior guard Jordan Bohannon who chipped in 19 points of his own.
The last two minutes was where the game was decided, and the Hawkeyes scoring 10 of the last 12 points of the game sealed the win for the visitors. Garza had three points in that run, along with a dagger 30-footer from Bohannon to effectively end the game with 36 seconds left.
Penn State drops to 0-7 in the Big Ten and 7-11 overall before traveling to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday.
On the other hand, Iowa picked up their 15th win of the season to only three losses and moved above .500 in the league at 4-3. The Hawkeyes return home to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini on Sunday.
Joe Skinner is a sophomore broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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