Fresh off an exciting road victory over Minnesota their last time out on the court, Indiana will look to keep the momentum rolling with a home game against Penn State on Tuesday night at 6:30 PM Eastern. It’s a true test for the Hoosiers to see if they can win back-to-back conference games, something they have not done this season. It’s a great situation for the test with the game at Assembly Hall and Penn State only 1.5-point favorites.
IU comes into the contest off a 75-71 road win over Minnesota with Robert Johnson, Juwan Morgan, and Justin Smith each eclipsing the 20-point mark. It was probably one of their best games this season not only scooping up their first road win, but it was a road win against a very good Big Ten school. Indiana had fallen to Michigan and Wisconsin on the road in conference player earlier this season. The Hoosiers are 1-0 at home in Big Ten play, with a 77-64 win over Iowa in early December.
Penn State, on the other hand, comes in of a 78-63 home win over Northwestern their last time out. Sophomore Lamar Stevens came through for the Nittany Lions with a big performance, scoring 30 points on 14/19 shooting from the field. The win marked Penn State’s third in its last five contests. In Big Ten play, the Nittany Lions hold a 2-2 record with losses to Wisconsin at home and Maryland on the road. Penn State has beaten Iowa on the road in a close one in addition to their last win against Northwestern at home.
In the Statistics Breakdown, Indiana once again will have to overcome challenges with their offense and defense. IU averages 74.8 points per game while shooting 46.4% from the field. Their defense holds opponents to 64.8 points per contest. Additionally, the Hoosiers average 37.6 rebounds, 14.0 assists, 5.1 blocks, and 6.3 steals per game. Penn State averages 77.8 points per game while shooting 46.9% from the floor. The Nittany Lions defense holds opponents to an average of just 64.8 points per contest. Finally, Penn State averages 37.9 rebounds, 6.2 blocks, and 9.1 steals per game for a more cohesive lineup.
Indiana is going up against another strong Big Ten opponent in Penn State. Despite all the numbers, IU has some advantages including homecourt which is always a factor. Just like I said in the Minnesota preview, Indiana needs to exceed their offensive numbers while decreasing defensive numbers. They were successful in doing both which led them to a win.