BLOOMINGTON – Rob Phinisee nailed a 16-foot jumper with 14 seconds remaining and Indiana defeated Penn State 87-85 in overtime at Assembly Hall tonight. It was the first Big Ten win for the Hoosiers, who improve to 6-4 and 1-2 in conference play.
- IU needs more Trey Galloway: Indiana’s offense has been stagnant in the half-court at times this season, but the Hoosiers did a good job of attacking the basket tonight, finishing with 50 points in the paint and shooting 57% from the field. That was a team effort and it was encouraging to see so many Hoosiers find some aggressiveness going to the rim, but the freshman from Culver Academies was the most impressive in that area. He’s been one of Indiana’s most aggressive players all season and that’s why he’s starting so early in his college career. Crucially, it’s controlled aggression, going to the hoop more to find an open man after he’s drawn the defense toward him than to hunt his own shot. He’s got some of the best court vision on the team and he’s already one of the better play-makers Indiana has. Of Indiana’s four freshmen, he’s easily the most advanced and he provided a spark at key moments tonight. He finished with 10 points, five assists and four rebounds.
- Armaan Franklin does it all: The Indiana sophomore’s improvement as a shooter has been well-documented in recent weeks, but he really popped against the Nittany Lions. The Indianapolis native had 16 points, three rebounds and a steal and he seemed to always make a play when the Hoosiers needed it. In the first half, Penn State cut an eight-point to lead three, but Franklin gave his team some breathing room again when he buried a 3 off the catch. In the second half, he had a 60-second stretch that could have been/was something of a turning point. With the Hoosiers ahead just 47-46 and the Nittany Lions on a small run, Franklin skied over some bigger bodies for an offensive rebound. He then raced down the court, attacked the basket and got fouled, hitting a couple of free throws. Penn State answered with a 3 to tie the game, but Franklin drove around a ball screen on the next possession and threw down a two-handed dunk to put IU in front again. Later, he spun to the rim and finger-rolled the ball home, plus a foul and the free throw, to put IU up 73-66. He continues to develop into a go-to player for the Hoosiers.
- Indiana made enough plays: The Hoosiers came into the game only 1-3 in matchups decided by single digits and coach Archie Miller said Indiana needed to find a way to make big plays down the stretch in close games. Tonight, he got his wish, as Indiana avoided huge offensive droughts and made big shots in big moments to stay in front of a game Penn State team. Encouragingly, those game-turning plays came from all over the roster. In addition to Franklin’s big shots at the rim, Rob Phinisee and Al Durham combined to bury three consecutive 3s during a 9-0 second-half run, Trayce Jackson-Davis made the most his few touches and provided a valuable decoy in the post and Galloway ran the court for a run-out layup to put the Hoosiers up double digits at 68-57. Although the Hoosiers let the lead get away, they got a big 3-point play from Jackson-Davis in overtime and Phinisee nailed the massive jumper with in the waning seconds at the end of the shot clock that proved decisive. This was a team offensive performance, albeit against a Penn State team that isn’t particularly strong defensively.
Player of the Game: Al Durham
Durham scored 18 points on 6 for 12 from the field and 4 of 8 from 3-point range, leading the Hoosiers in scoring and also draining two 3s during a 9-0 IU run that took the lead from three points up to 12 midway through the second half. It was his highest-scoring game since Nov. 30 and he added four assists and two rebounds.
Indiana avoided its first 0-3 start in Big Ten play since 2010-11. … The victory was coach Archie Miller’s 200th as a head coach. He is in his 10th season and his record is 200-110. … Indiana was once again without fifth-year senior big man Joey Brunk, who has not played this season because of an ailing back. The Hoosiers announced shortly before the game that Brunk had surgery on his back today and will be out indefinitely. …Jackson-Davis scored a season-low 11 points on 3-for-13 shooting in Indiana’s game against Illinois on Saturday. He had a game-high 21 points and six rebounds against the Nittany Lions. … Penn State coach Jim Ferry picked up a technical foul in the first half for arguing that Jackson-Davis had stepped up out of bounds before an IU 3-pointer. … Penn State went 12 for 28 from 3-point range. … The Hoosiers shot 60% from the field in the second half.
The Hoosiers are back in action Monday when the travel to College Park to take on Maryland (6-3, 1-2 Big Ten) at the Xfinity Center in their first game of 2021. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. The Terrapins are the defending Big Ten champions and their most recent game was an upset victory at No. 6 Wisconsin. They’ll also play at home against No. 16 Michigan on Thursday before taking on Indiana.