Penn State 38

(14-13, 6-10 Big Ten)

(23) Iowa 65

(21-8, 10-5 Big Ten)

    8:00 PM ET, March 1, 2006

    Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa

    1 2 T
    PSU 17 2138
    #23IOWA 30 3565

    Top Performers

    Penn State: T. Parker 13 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Iowa: E. Hansen 15 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

    No. 24 Iowa trounces Penn St. to snap two-game skid

    IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa has rallied around its defense this season. On Wednesday, the Hawkeyes gave their best defensive effort.

    Mike Henderson scored 16 points and Erek Hansen added 15 as Iowa (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today; No. 23 AP) snapped a two-game losing streak by beating Penn State 65-38 on Wednesday night, holding the Nittany Lions to a season-low in points.

    Just how bad was it for Penn State? The Nittany Lions had more turnovers (14) than field goals (13), shot 25 percent from the field and scored just 10 points inside.

    "We've been awfully good defensively all year, but this might have been our best 40-minute effort," Iowa coach Steve Alford said. "We've been really good defensively in this building all year."

    Iowa (21-8, 10-5 Big Ten) took control midway through the first half and led by double digits the rest of the way, as its defensive pressure forced Penn State out of its rhythm and created easy baskets on the other end.

    The Hawkeyes typically play a methodical halfcourt offense, relying on their defense to control the tempo. It's a formula that works, Alford says, because his players have bought into the theory that defense wins games.

    "We've got a lot of upperclassmen, and they understand the importance of that end," Alford said. "Tonight was as good we've helped all year, and that's what good team defense does."

    With the win, the Hawkeyes clinched a first-round bye for the Big Ten tournament and moved one step closer to its first undefeated season at home since 1965-66.

    The Hawkeyes, who are 16-0 at home for the first time in school history, finish up the regular season by hosting Wisconsin on Saturday. Ohio State's win over Northwestern on Wednesday means that if the Buckeyes beat Purdue on Saturday they will win the Big Ten title, but Iowa can claim a share of its first conference crown since 1979 with a win and an Ohio State loss.

    "It was kind of bad, but we're just hoping for Purdue to [win]," Henderson said.

    Iowa buried any hopes the Nittany Lions (14-13, 6-10) had for a comeback by opening the second half with an 11-0 run. Henderson started the spurt with a fast break layup off a steal, a 19-foot jumper and a putback, and Adam Haluska finished it with a long 3-pointer that gave Iowa a 41-17 lead with 15:24 left.

    "You're not going to win many games shooting 25 percent," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said. "I thought offensively we were just really bad tonight."

    Iowa's reserves got plenty of playing time the rest of the way, but Penn State was never able to get closer than 18 points in the final 11:55.

    Travis Parker scored 13 points for the Nittany Lions. Despite the loss, Penn State finished with its best conference record in five years, coming off a 7-23 mark in 2004-05.

    After a slow start, the Hawkeyes used their defense to ignite a 19-2 run. Hansen converted a three-point play and a basket to give Iowa its first double-digit lead, 23-12. Greg Brunner followed with a block, a save and an outlet pass that Jeff Horner used to bury a 3-pointer, and Haluska hit a 3 on the Hawkeyes' next possession to push the lead to 29-12.

    Iowa held the Nittany Lions to two points over a 10:34 stretch during the first half and led 30-17 at halftime.

    "It excites us when we hold teams under 40 points, and it really does lead to a lot of good buckets on the offensive end," Haluska said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 38 65
    FG Made-Attempted 13-51 (.255) 25-46 (.543)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-18 (.222) 7-20 (.350)
    FT Made-Attempted 8-12 (.667) 8-11 (.727)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 11 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 30

    2005-06 Season

    Jan 14, 2006 IOWA 80, @PSU 76Recap
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