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Tuesday, May 28
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

Indiana men’s basketball stunned at home 85-71 to Penn State in first Quad 3 loss

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Indiana men’s basketball hosted Penn State on Saturday afternoon looking to break .500 in conference play. The Hoosiers were unable to do so, falling for the third time in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall this season in a can’t-lose matchup. 

Sixth-year senior guard Xavier Johnson was ruled out pregame due to an elbow injury suffered late in Indiana’s 74-68 win over Iowa on Jan. 30. Sophomore forward Malik Reneau — who suffered an ankle injury early against Iowa — was ruled questionable ahead of tipoff but started Saturday. 

The Nittany Lions entered the contest fresh off their first conference road win of the season after defeating Rutgers 61-46. However, sophomore guard Kanye Clary—sixth in the conference with 18.4 points per game — did not play due to a face injury. 

Indiana held a 41-37 halftime lead largely because of sophomore center Kel’el Ware’s efforts. The 7-footer posted 17 points on 6-for-6 shooting and seven rebounds in the first half. The Hoosiers dominated inside, but Penn State kept up with a 6-for-12 performance from 3-point land in the frame. 

The Hoosiers’ momentum was quickly quelled by Penn State’s red-hot shooting in the second half. The Nittany Lions started the frame 9-for-12 from the field and continued their first half success at the 3-point line. In less than nine minutes, Indiana’s 4-point lead became a 13-point deficit. 

Penn State graduate student forward Qudus Wahab quieted Ware after his strong first half and turned the tables on him with a dominant second frame inside. Wahab finished the half with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting and 5 rebounds. 

The Hoosiers shot 37.5% from the field in the final 20 minutes compared to the Nittany Lions’ mark of 64%. Penn State finished 12-for-22 on 3-pointers while Indiana shot 5-for-19 from range. Penn State also led by double digits in the final 12 minutes of the game. 

Barring an extensive win streak to end the season, the loss likely eliminates Indiana’s chances for an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. The loss to Penn State — ranked 112th in NET rankings entering Saturday — marks Indiana’s first Quadrant 3 loss of the season. 

Indiana now stands at 13-9 overall and 5-6 in Big Ten play. Next up, the Hoosiers will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face Ohio State on Feb. 6. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. and will be streamed on Peacock. 

Follow reporters Will Foley (@foles24) and Matt Press (@MattPress23) and columnist Daniel Flick (@ByDanielFlick) for updates throughout the Indiana men’s basketball season. 

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