Penn State men rally past Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Coach Patrick Chambers hardly recognized Penn State for the first 36 minutes Wednesday night.

The Big Ten’s top scorer, D.J. Newbill, struggled to find good shots and the Nittany Lions’ second-leading scorer Tim Frazier was a non-factor.

It didn’t last.

Newbill came up with a steal with 12.3 seconds to go, and Frazier followed a timeout by driving for the go-ahead layup with 6.1 seconds left to give Penn State its only lead of the game and a stunning 66-65 victory at Indiana.

“It just became a different game,” Chambers said. “We were pressing, we weren’t pressing the whole game. You know what, 18 to 23-year-olds sometimes all of a sudden you’re down and then you’re going to play hard. It’s like ‘Where was this for the first 36 minutes?'”

Frazier and Newbill had to wonder, too.

The truth was Penn State’s defense was every bit as efficient early as it was late. The Nittany Lions (13-12, 4-8 Big Ten) forced Indiana into 20 turnovers, four in the last 2:09 when the Hoosiers could barely get the ball inbounds.

The Hoosiers gave up the ball on a five-second call. They were called for a travel. And then in the closing 15 seconds, Frazier came up with a loose ball steal in the corner right in front of his bench and they eventually got the ball to Ross Travis for an open shot. He wound getting fouled, making only 1 of 2 free throws with 14.4 seconds to go, and then Newbill stole the next inbound pass near midcourt.

Frazier’s ensuing layup then capped the 13-1 run that erased Indiana’s seemingly safe 11-point lead with 3:19 to play.

“We want to try to force as many turnovers as possible,” Frazier said after finishing with 14 points. “You want to continue to play hard on defense, dive, get rebounds. We did that together as a team and that helped us out at the end.”

The victory ended Penn State’s two-game skid, snapped a five-game losing streak in the series and gave the Nittany Lions their first win at Assembly Hall since Dec. 27, 2010. It also kept them above .500.

For the Hoosiers (14-10, 4-7), it was a miserable way to finish – and they had nobody to blame for it but themselves.

With former Colts coach Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, watching from the front row, Indiana shot 51.2 percent from the field 38.5 percent on 3-pointers and out-rebounded Penn State. But they also gave up 22 points off turnovers and had only three players score in double figures – Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell finished with 16 points, Will Sheehey had 12 and Stanford Robinson added 11.

Ferrell had a chance to win it at the buzzer with a contested 17-foot jumper. It bounced off the front of the rim.

Coach Tom Crean and his players didn’t mince words about the collapse, either.

Crean contended his team lacked “awareness,” acknowledging that was the politest critique he could make.

Sheehey’s description: “We panicked; we didn’t stay true to the scouting report.”

Whatever the explanation, it wasn’t pretty for the Dungys, who came to Assembly Hall to sign their new book “Uncommon Marriage,” or anyone else.

Indiana appeared to have control after extending a 36-30 halftime lead to 54-41 on Ferrell’s 3-pointer with 11:21 to go.

Back came Penn State, closing the deficit to 56-51 with 6:33 remaining. Ferrell then scored four straight points in a 7-0 run that allowed Indiana to retake a 63-51 lead with 3:34 to go.

At that point, it appeared all the Hoosiers had to do was make free throws to seal it.

But the Hoosiers found a different way to lose it.

PENN ST. (13-12)

Jack 4-9 2-2 10, Taylor 4-7 0-0 10, Newbill 3-12 0-0 7, Woodward 3-6 0-0 9, Frazier 3-10 8-8 14, Johnson 2-6 0-0 6, Thorpe 1-1 2-5 4, Dickerson 0-0 0-0 0, Wisniewski 0-0 0-0 0, Travis 2-3 2-3 6. Totals 22-54 14-18 66.

INDIANA (14-10)

Sheehey 5-7 1-2 12, Vonleh 2-3 4-4 8, Williams 3-4 2-2 8, Ferrell 4-13 5-6 16, Robinson 5-6 1-2 11, Gordon 1-6 1-2 4, Mosquera-Perea 0-0 1-2 1, Etherington 0-1 0-0 0, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Hollowell 1-1 3-4 5. Totals 21-41 18-24 65.

Halftime-Indiana 36-30. 3-Point Goals-Penn St. 8-19 (Woodward 3-5, Johnson 2-3, Taylor 2-5, Newbill 1-2, Frazier 0-2, Jack 0-2), Indiana 5-13 (Ferrell 3-7, Sheehey 1-1, Gordon 1-3, Williams 0-1, Etherington 0-1). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Penn St. 24 (Jack 6), Indiana 30 (Vonleh 12). Assists-Penn St. 13 (Frazier 6), Indiana 14 (Ferrell 6). Total Fouls-Penn St. 22, Indiana 14. A-17,472.