Hoosier offense struggles in loss
Wednesday’s game got out of hand.
IU shot just 16-58 (27.6 percent) from the field and could not keep up with No. 13 Penn State.
The Hoosiers converted on just seven 2-point field goals as the Nittany Lions coasted to a 65-52 victory.
“First, I’d like to give credit to Penn State,” IU Coach Curt Miller said. “(Penn State) just never let us really get into a follow offensively.”
Both teams struggled to score early on.
Freshman guard Larryn Brooks hit a 3-pointer with 10 minutes and eight seconds remaining in the first half to make it a 13-12 game.
That would be the closest IU would get to leading for the rest of the night.
Brooks struggled to get inside when creating offense.
“They did a really good job of keeping us at about 30 feet in the first half offensively, and therefore we never could get in a rhythm,” he said.
Following Brooks’ 3-pointer, Penn State (14-4, 5-1) proceeded on a 10-0 run to extend its lead to 23-12.
FIU’s offense could not find a consistent scoring rhythm the rest of the game.
The Hoosiers (15-4, 2-4) had stretches where they would chip into the Penn State lead, but then the offense would go dormant.
Senior forward Tabitha Gerardot hit a jump shot with 18 minutes and 23 seconds remaining in the second half to pull IU within eight points, but then the offense stalled as the Nittany Lions pulled away.
The Hoosiers went nine minutes and one second before making another field goal.
“We just didn’t get the movement we wanted,” Miller said.
IU tried to pull themselves back into the game with 3-pointers, but to no avail.
IU shot just 9-30 (30 percent) from beyond the arc. Aside from Gerardot and freshman forward Lyndsay Leikem, IU players combined to shoot a woeful 4-21 (19 percent) from the field.
Over half of IU’s field goal attempts were 3-pointers.
Penn State’s length forced to try to score from long range.
“We knew we had to make a bunch of threes, but we wanted to play a little more balanced inside out,” Miller said. “We didn’t have ultimately as good a night at the arc as we needed.”
In a night where the offense struggled, Gerardot came in off the bench for a second consecutive game to turn in the strongest offensive performance for IU.
She had 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds while shooting 3-7 from beyond the 3-point line.
Miller was satisfied with the way his defense played throughout the night, and was pleased that his team managed to stay in the game — despite having one of the worst offensive nights of the season.
“You have to credit Penn State,” Miller said. “They’re a huge team and they pose lots of problems.”
Follow reporter Sam Beishuizen on Twitter @Sam_Beishuizen.
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