No. 7 Indiana pulls away from Penn St. 72-49
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Penn State coach Patrick Chambers kept trying to find ways to slow down Indiana's shooters.
It didn't work.
On a night, the Nittany Lions held Cody Zeller without a basket for the first time in his college career, Victor Oladipo scored 19 points, Yogi Ferrell had a season-high 15 and the seventh-ranked Hoosiers made 11 3-pointers in a 72-49 rout.
"That team has a lot of talent and you can't take everything away," Chambers said. "You play the percentages and you try to take certain things away."
Chambers had some success.
Penn State (8-11, 0-7 Big Ten) challenged Zeller everywhere on the court. He wound up 0 for 4 from the field and finished with a career-low 2 points. The defense also limited Christian Watford to 10 points and Jordan Hulls to just eight.
But the problems kept popping up, too.
Indiana shot 58.8 percent from the field in the second half, making 6 of 8 3-pointers over the final 20 minutes, while Penn State shot just 33.3 percent.
Despite getting 18 points and seven rebounds from D.J. Newbill and 12 points and six rebounds from Jermaine Marshall, the Nittany Lions just could not avoid a seventh consecutive loss. Penn State has now lost 12 straight Big Ten road games, dating to a March 6, 2011 win at Minnesota.
"It might not show it on the scoreboard, but I thought we did everything we could do in our ability," Chambers said.
Indiana did exactly what it had to without a big night from Zeller, the preseason All-American.
It spread out the scoring, tied a season-high on 3s and played stifling defense yet again. And Zeller wasn't exactly a no-show. He still had eight rebounds, three blocks, three assists and double-digit deflections.
"Cody did a lot of other things to impact the game and that's why he's such a great player," Oladipo said. "He might have a slow night today, but he played tremendous defense. He still had 10 deflections and rebounded the ball. Sure we've got to step it up a little bit when he plays that, we've just got to play together."
And Zeller's presence still opened things up for his teammates.
Oladipo was 4 of 7 from the field, 9 of 12 from the free throw line, had six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Will Sheehey scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Ferrell, a freshman, came into the game shooting 34.9 percent. He went 6 of 7 from the field and 3 of 4 on 3-pointers, including two at the start of the second half that helped the Hoosiers take control.
"Yogi did an excellent job tonight shooting the ball," Crean said. "You could see it yesterday. We had probably the shortest practice of the year yesterday, so we lost some of our rhythm and it hurt us."
Indiana won its second straight since losing to Wisconsin at home last week, and reasserted both its home-court advantage and its dominance in this lopsided series.
The mismatches were evident all night and in many different facets.
In the first half, the Niittany Lions shot just 29.6 percent from the field, managed only one 3 and matched the 19 points Ball State and Coppin State had scored against Indiana, the second-lowest point total the Hoosiers allowed in any half this season. Northwestern scored only 17 points in the first half of the Hoosiers' 67-59 win Sunday.
It could have been even worse as Indiana went 21 of 37 from the free throw line but that didn't matter Wednesday.
The Hoosiers used runs of 7-0, 8-2 and 12-5 to take a 33-19 halftime lead, then started the second half by turning three straight defensive stops into an 8-0 run that made it 41-19 with 18:55 to play.
Indiana didn't let Penn State get closer than 17 points the rest of the way.
"It's a big emphasis on our team, because it seems like everybody in the country doesn't think we have good second halves," Oladipo said. "That's their opinion and that's fine. That's what they say. At the end of the day, we're going to do whatever it takes to finish strong because we're not trying to beat Penn State, we're trying to beat everybody in the country."
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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