Bench scoring shut down in Penn State loss
STATE COLLEGE – Penn State’s 13 victories this year have been the result of balanced scoring. The Nittany Lions’ 13th loss resulted from just the opposite.
No. 16 Iowa, with four players in double figures, allowed Penn State’s D.J. Newbill to score 22 points but clamped down on the rest of the Lions and pulled away from Penn State 82-70 Saturday.
Melsahn Basabe scored 16 points and was supported by Roy Devyn Marble with 15, Aaron White 14 and Mike Gesell 13 as the Hawkeyes (19-6, 8-4) won their third straight Big Ten road game of the season for the first time since 1998.
Penn State coach Patrick Chambers stresses the Nittany Lions need three scorers to be successful. Newbill’s 22 wasn’t enough without additional support from Tim Frazier, whom the Hawkeyes held to 11 points (four in the first half), and Brandon Taylor, who scored only five.
John Johnson scored 11 for Penn State (13-13, 4-9) in his sixth-man role.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery thought that the Hawkeyes “did OK” stopping Newbill and Frazier.
“They’re both really competitive, they have a sense of when to go, when to shoot it,” McCaffery said. “Timmy (Frazier) does great job of finding people. But he didn’t shoot it well today; that didn’t help him.”
Frazier, who averages 16.1 points behind Newbill’s 17.2, was held to 4 for 17 from the field.
“Tim played so hard,” Chambers said. “I look at his 4 for 17 and he’s a senior and he wanted to play well. He wanted to do it here. You have nights like those. He has to get back in the gym and work on his shots. Newbill and Frazier, if they don’t get their averages, we’re going to lose the game.
“We need Johnson and (Geno) Thorpe and (Ross) Travis; those guys need positive production.”
The game was tied four times in the second half before Iowa stretched it out from a 44-44 deadlock with a 14-4 run.
“With 13 minutes to go, we’re going to throw it in, we’re going to attack, we’re going to push it,” McCaffery said.
“That’s the aggressiveness with which we have to play. We kept our attack mentality. They called some fouls and we were in the double bonus.”
Marble, the team’s leading scorer at 16.5 points per game coming in, pumped in seven of those and Gesell converted on a 3-pointer from the corner to help the Hawks widen the gap.
Back-to-back misses by Marble and White gave Penn State life when Johnson reached the rim on successive drives to cut the Lions’ deficit to 58-52.
Two free throws by Marble and another 3-pointer by Gesell stretched the Hawks’ lead to 65-55.
The Hawks sank 16 of their last 17 shots to pull away from the Lions.
“That’s a veteran team,” Chambers said about Iowa. “They’re mature guys, they’re men, their bodies are developed. A lot of guys can make plays, they share the ball, they make assists.
“They’re long and very disruptive and very good at defending the three. Let’s give the Iowa defense some credit.”
Iowa shots 7 for 19 from 3-point range as Gesell nailed four of five attempts from beyond the arc. The Hawkeyes shot 31 for 40 from the free throw line which helped them pull away late.
“I think it was a kind of game where you had to get a feel for it,” McCaffery said. “When you play Penn State, you know they’re going to fight you, you know they’re going to be physical.
“They were better at that than we were in the first half. The second half we were much tougher on the glass and playing through contact.”
Chambers credited Gesell for his marksmanship.
“That’s an elite level team making those 3s,” Chambers said. “We tried to take that away. Give Gesell credit; he wasn’t making those shots all year. We had our hands up. He still made the shots.”
Penn State wasn’t nearly as accurate, shooting 3 for 16.
“We have to make 3s, we have to make at least seven,” said Chambers. “I’m surprised how were shooting the ball at home. We should be shooting the ball much better. I can’t put my finger on it.”
Basabe 6-9 4-4 16, White 6-12 2-4 14, Woodbury 0-2 7-8 7, Marble 2-9 10-12 15, Gesell 4-8 1-2 13, Olaseni 0-2 1-2 1, Oglesby 1-3 2-2 5, McCabe 1-4 1-2 4, Uthoff 2-6 3-4 7. Totals 22-55 31-40 82.
PENN ST. (13-13)
Jack 2-7 4-7 8, Taylor 2-9 0-0 5, Newbill 10-15 2-2 22, Woodward 0-1 0-0 0, Frazier 4-17 2-2 11, Johnson 4-8 2-2 11, Thorpe 0-1 1-2 1, Dickerson 0-0 2-4 2, Travis 4-7 2-2 10. Totals 26-65 15-21 70.
Halftime-Penn St. 33-31. 3-Point Goals-Iowa 7-19 (Gesell 4-5, McCabe 1-2, Oglesby 1-3, Marble 1-6, Uthoff 0-1, White 0-2), Penn St. 3-16 (Johnson 1-3, Frazier 1-4, Taylor 1-5, Jack 0-1, Newbill 0-3). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Iowa 40 (Basabe 8), Penn St. 36 (Frazier 7). Assists-Iowa 13 (Gesell 7), Penn St. 9 (Frazier 4). Total Fouls-Iowa 18, Penn St. 23. A-10,428.