Indiana Daily Student

Hoosiers blow out Lions

IU 85 Penn State 51

STATE COLLEGE, PA. -- The game plan for IU was obvious as soon as the game started Wednesday night at Penn State. \nOn its first possession, IU went to Jared Jeffries. The Hoosiers did the same on their second possession. And the third. And on six of their next seven trips down the floor.\nBy the time that stretch was over, IU had a three-point lead, with Jeffries scoring all nine of the Hoosiers' points as Penn State left one defender on him. Jeffries finished the half with 15 points and the game with 22 points in 27 minutes as the Hoosiers coasted to an 85-51 blowout victory in front of 8,674 at the Bryce Jordan Center.\nThe 34-point IU victory tied the margin for Penn State's worst home loss in 106 years.\nIt also solidified the Hoosiers' hold on second place in the Big Ten with five of their next six games at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers have beaten Penn State 11 consecutive times. \nOnce Jeffries started rolling, the Nittany Lions adjusted by double-teaming the sophomore forward. IU responded. \nJunior guard Tom Coverdale finished with 13 points, 10 of which came in the second half, as the Hoosiers (12-6, 5-1 Big Ten) outscored the Nittany Lions 24-8 to open the half and build a 65-39 lead with 11 minutes left. Senior guard Dane Fife added 10.\nTyler Smith led Penn State (5-12, 1-5) with 12 points.\nMike Davis hoped to win one of the past three games. Now the Hoosiers go into their showdown with No. 9 Illinois playing well and with three conference road wins in their back pocket.\n"We're playing well right now," Davis said. "This was a big win."\nEven as the second half began with the Hoosiers leading 41-31, IU went straight to its top scorer. Jeffries scored five more quick points, including an alley-oop from Coverdale, to give the Hoosiers a 16-point lead and force Penn State coach Jerry Dunn to burn a timeout four minutes into the half.\nIU put the game away over the next four minutes behind three three pointers from Coverdale and one from guard Kyle Hornsby. \nThe last time these teams met, Jeffries scored 17 points, with 11 of those coming from the free-throw line. The Hoosiers struggled to a 61-54 victory Jan. 5 at Assembly Hall, but they didn't need free throws Wednesday night, as they shot 51.6 percent from the field.\nJeffries and Davis were surprised Penn State played Jeffries one-on-one throughout the game, letting him dominate the lane.\n"I was surprised. We had worked all week on them doubling and switching off and having two guys on me," Jeffries said. "We got a lot of layups."\nJeffries did miss his first shot, but Davis thinks it was because Jeffries was as surprised as anybody.\n"They didn't double him early. He caught the ball the first couple of times," Davis said. "The next couple of trips, he came down and he made shots."\nDunn said he didn't double team Jeffries because he was afraid of the Hoosier guards heating up.\n"Indiana had a great game plan, and they executed it extremely well," Dunn said. "When we did double, they knocked down threes."\nEven if the Nittany Lions had focused their defense on Jeffries, Fife doubts they would have slowed him down.\n"It might have been easy for (Jeffries) tonight because he just out-athleted every one of their guys," Fife said.\nComing into the game, the Nittany Lions were eighth in the conference in scoring defense, allowing just more than 70 points per game. The Hoosiers are 8-0 this season when they score 70 points and easily eclipsed that mark last night.\nAfter sputtering through the first four minutes, the Hoosiers got rolling behind Jeffries and his 15 first-half points. Behind 6-5, the Hoosiers ran off 10 consecutive points to open a 15-6 lead on a Jeffries layup eight minutes into the game.\nIU's biggest lead of the half came at 31-16 on a Donald Perry jumper with less than seven minutes left before the break. Penn State would get no closer than five the rest of the half and the game.\nNow that the road trip is over, the Hoosiers are ready for Illinois and a chance to really get in position to achieve their big goal for the season.\n"I keep talking about the Big Ten championship," Davis said. "Because that's our goal. If we can win that game, that would be great"

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