Indiana Daily Student

Hoosiers face 'biggest game of the year'

Penn State's Joe Crispin practically lived a nightmare the last time he faced the Hoosiers. The sharp-shooting guard made only 3-of-15 shots in IU's 77-69 victory Jan. 17.\nHe gets his chance for redemption Saturday as the Hoosiers travel to Penn State to face Crispin and the Nittany Lions (11-4, 2-3 Big Ten) at 4:30 in the Bryce Jordan Center.\nJunior guard Dane Fife was a big part of Crispin's off-night. Fife held Crispin to zero field goals in the first half, and 10 points on the night. He has averaged 20.8 points per game this season.\n"Fife locked in on him throughout the course of that game," interim head coach Mike Davis said. "To hold Joe Crispin to zero field goals in the first half is a tremendous job. But at home, with the crowd getting into it, he can score 35 or 40 points."\nCrispin isn't Penn State's only dangerous weapon. Titus Ivory averages 16 points per game, while Gyasi Cline-Heard adds more than 14.\n"You have to play them hard the whole game because they have three really good three-point shooters," Davis said. "When you have three guys somebody has to be hot. If three are hot, you're in trouble. If two are hot, you're in trouble. If it's just one, you try to keep him to a minimum."\nDavis stressed the importance of this game, saying it is IU's (13-9, 4-4) biggest game of the year.\n"In this conference, if you can take care of home and get two wins on the road, that's good enough for third or fourth in the league," Davis said. "To win this would be like plus-two, and that's 10 wins."\nThe Nittany Lions disrupted the Big Ten standings Wednesday by upsetting No. 6 Illinois 98-95 in overtime. After twisting his ankle in the first half, Ivory scored 27 points. Cline-Heard added 19 and Crispin scored 16.The loss dropped Illinois into a 3-way tie for first with Michigan State and Iowa.\n"The biggest thing is that they made shots, and we didn't pressure them out of what they wanted to do," Illinois coach Bill Self said. "They have range of 25 feet."\nIn the last IU-Penn State matchup, Davis primarily used a lineup consisting of three guards and forwards junior Kirk Haston and freshman Jared Jeffries. Without a dominant inside player on Penn State, Haston scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Jeffries scored 15 and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. "I think Jared is the freshman of the year in the Big Ten, " Davis said. "He handles the ball, he rebounds and he scores."\nThat game also served as the debut for freshman guard A.J. Moye. He came off the bench with fire to ignite the Hoosiers. He is averaging 12.4 minutes per game during the conference season, after averaging six minutes during pre-conference play.\n"Early in the season, Coach told me to be patient … 'you can't conquer the world in one day,'" Moye said. "Just be patient, and when your time comes, be ready"

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