Indiana Daily Student

Fife's effort leads to win

Guard's improved offense helps Hoosiers defeat Nittany Lions

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- When IU played Penn State Jan. 17 in Assembly Hall, junior guard Dane Fife played one of his best defensive games, shutting down Penn State guard Joe Crispin, one of the nation's most accurate shooters.\nA gritty performance from Fife on defense is hardly a surprise. \nBut interim head coach Mike Davis has been waiting patiently this season for Fife to show more consistency on offense.\nFife scored a career-high 15 points, including a career-high three three pointers Saturday on the way to IU's 85-78 overtime win against Penn State before 15,232 at the Bryce Jordan Center. The win improved the Hoosiers record to 5-4 in the conference while Penn State dropped to 3-6.\n"Dane was great," Davis said. "I told Dane last week he's playing like the backdoor All-American we want to see. He's getting better every game."\nFife, who averages five points per game, scored 12 points and led the team offensively in the first half, knocking down two three-pointers and making 5-of-6 from the field. The Hoosiers held Penn State to 20 percent shooting on 6-of-29 from the field. Crispin, the Lions leading scorer with an average of 20.8 points per game, was held to three points in the first half.\n"I just hit them tonight, that's the bottom line," Fife said. "The major thing is, we won."\nWith 3:40 left in the five-minute overtime period, Fife fouled Crispin and picked up his fourth foul. Crispin sank both free throws to tie the game at 67. Fife fouled out with 56.2 seconds left in the game.\n"It's very difficult (to play with four fouls), but I try not to pay attention to how many fouls I have and play my style of defense, and hopefully the refs won't give me a dirty call," Fife said.\nThe referees called a tight game inside, as four of IU's players finished with at least four fouls. Fife and freshman forward Jared Jeffries fouled out. Sophomore forward Jeffrey Newton and junior center Kirk Haston both finished with four personal fouls.\nPenn State senior guard Titus Ivory, who led the Nittany Lions with 26 points, finished with four fouls. Junior forward Tyler Smith fouled out with 1:11 left in overtime. But by the time Fife took a seat on the bench, the Hoosiers were ahead 76-72.\nDavis said Fife, who leads the team in steals with 33 and is second in assists with 72, doesn't need to score double figures every game to be an effective player.\n"He's feeling good offensively," Davis said. "If Dane could step it up like he's playing now, and not get 15, but just eight or 10, because he plays so hard defensively every night, boy his game could be really, really good"

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