Penn State Basketball clawed back into the AP top 25 rankings with wins over OSU and UM. Can the Lions notch their third win in a row?
When – January 29 @ 8:30 EST
Where – University Park @ Bryce Jordan Center – Tv: BTN
Penn State Basketball bounced back from three straight losses with two consecutive wins against Ohio State and Michigan. Should Penn State win on Wednesday, the Lions will equal their three-game skid with a three-game win streak and climb to a 5-4 Big Ten Conference record. They will face-off against a red-hot Indiana Hoosier squad.
Over the last five games, Indiana is sporting a 3-2 conference record with stand-out wins against #11 Ohio State, #11 Michigan State and Nebraska. The Hoosiers lost by nine points (50-59) to Rutgers at the RAC and they took #17 Maryland down to the wire in a one-point (76-77) home loss, Sunday afternoon. Indiana plays well at home with a 4-1 conference record, while on the road, they are 1-3 with the lone win coming against Nebraska.
The Hoosiers are looking for a resume defining road win, similar to Penn State’s recent takedown of Michigan. A victory at the BJC against a team freshly re-entering the AP top 25 would keep Archie Miller’s squad nipping at the heels of #15 Maryland, #18 Iowa, and #25 Rutgers in the conference standings. Which Hoosier players should Penn State Basketball fans be most concerned about?
Jersey #4 belongs to Trayce Jackson-Davis. He is a 6-9, 245-pound freshman forward who has emerged as a consistent double-digit scorer. Over the past three games, he has racked up 44 points and pulled down 25 rebounds. Trayce had a clean look for the go-ahead jumper that clanked off the front-iron, during the final seconds of the Maryland game.
Number 10, Rob Phinisee is a name that Nittany Lions’ fans are familiar with. Last year the 6-1, 190-pound freshman poured in 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and one steal and block at the Bryce Jordan Center. Phinisee drained all three of his free-throw attempts. Indiana won by a 64-62 score. Currently, the sophomore is shooting 34 percent from two and 38 percent from three over the last five games. He sports a 1.3 A/T ratio over that five-game stretch.
Other Hoosiers playing well over the past few outings include redshirt junior #50 Joey Brunk, who scored 14 points and pulled down six rebounds against Michigan State. Senior guard #11 Devonte Green lit-up Maryland for sixteen-points going 5-10 from two and 2-6 from three. Green also contributed three assists and five rebounds in that effort.
Now that you have an idea of how Indiana has played over the past five games and know some of their key players to watch for, how can Penn State defend home-court and get above .500 in conference play?