Pre-season Player-of-the-Year candidate Cody Zeller scored a career low two points, but Victor Oladipo and Yogi Ferrell picked up the slack as Indiana overcame a sluggish shooting first half to knock off Penn State 72-49 in a Big Ten Conference game Wednesday at the Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
IU raises its record to 17-2 overall, 5-1 in the Big Ten. Penn State drops to 8-11, 0-7 in the conference. The Nittany Lions fell to 2-17 all-time against the Hoosiers.
After starting slowly, IU shot nearly 59 percent in the second half, and nailed 6-of-8 three point shots to pull away. The Hoosiers also clamped down defensively, holding Penn State to 33 percent shooting.
As for the offense, IU had to get contributions from its supporting cast. Oladipo led the way with 19 points and Ferrell, the talented freshman point guard, added a career-high 15. Will Sheehey gave IU a lift off the bench with 12 points. As for Zeller, Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said Penn State did a good job defensively on Indiana's big man.
"He (Zeller) didn't really look for that many opportunities to score. I'm not concerned about that, he will. The one thing he's got is constant team attention and what I mean by that is that he might be guarded by one person, but everybody knows when he has the ball," stated Crean.
D.J. Newbill led the Nittany Lions with 18 points, while Jermaine Marshall contributed 12. Penn State coach Patrick Chambers was candid in his assessment. "I didn't like our matchups. They're a very talented group," said Chambers of the Hoosiers, who appear back on track after a home loss to Wisconsin last week.
IU will get a chance to assert themselves in the conference again when Michigan State invades Assembly Hall for a key Big Ten showdown on Sunday.