PSU Hoops drops second straight game to Iowa behind Murray's 15 points
Penn State flew into a raucous Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Wednesday, and walked away with a second-straight loss in conference play.
The Nittany Lions couldn’t ride another strong defensive performance to top Iowa, as the Hawkeyes opened it up in the second half to secure a 68-51 win.
It was a slow start on the road for Penn State, as Iowa’s Patrick McCaffrey picked up a quick eight points to help spark a 12-5 lead.
Seth Lundy was back in the lineup for Penn State, though, after not traveling to Columbus against Ohio State. He made an immediate impact, drilling a 3-pointer to help break the cold stretch for Penn State. It was exactly the kind of offense Penn State was missing against the Buckeyes a week ago.
Both teams went ice cold and scoreless for just over three minutes, but Penn State broke the stretch with a 18-9 run behind Lundy’s three and a Jaheam Cornwall and-1, grabbing its first lead of the game.
It was short lived, though, as back-to-back triples and a late free throw pushed Iowa to a 30-25 lead at halftime.
The Nittany Lions were impressive in corralling the Big Ten’s leading scorer in Keegan Murray, holding him to just five points on 2-for-5 shooting. McCaffrey’s eight and Jordan Bohannon’s six, largely thanks to 3-pointers, led the way for the Hawkeyes.
Penn State struggled to score in big moments against Ohio State and fouled at a ridiculous rate, but Lundy, Myles Dread, Sam Sessoms and others brought important offense in the first half, paired with just one trip to the line for Iowa.
However, 13 turnovers kept Penn State from controlling the game as well as it probably should have, especially after out-rebounding the Hawkeyes 22-10.
Penn State held the slim Iowa lead in place immediately out of the break on the back of two Jalen Pickett buckets, but Bohannon and McCaffrey quickly clicked from deep once again. The Hawkeyes went up 10, the first double-digit lead of the game.
Dread hit two threes to cut the lead down to three, but Murray and his brother Kris wouldn’t let go, keying a 7-1 run.
Iowa’s lead fluctuated between five and nine points often throughout the middle parts of the second half, but the Murray Brothers were once again at the forefront of holding that lead where it was.
Kris and Keegan scored eight-straight points over two minutes in the late stages, and Keegan all but put the dagger in the Nittany Lions with a step-back three at the end of the 8-0 run.
Iowa completely flipped the script in the second half, evening the rebounding battle back up and taking a slim 37-34 lead when it was all said and done. The Hawkeyes got to the line more, too, shooting 18 times with a really solid 78% conversion rate.
Penn State only turned it over four more times in the second half, but the offense just couldn’t keep up with Iowa’s firepower.
Keegan Murray led all scorers with 15, while Kris led three other Hawkeyes in double figures with 13. Keegan also led his team with eight rebounds.
Pickett was the only Nittany Lion in double figures with 14, adding three assists. Lundy tied a season-low with eight points in his first game back, while John Harrar was held scoreless for the first time all year and only grabbed five rebounds.