Second-half Shooting Stalls No. 16 Penn State at Iowa 77-68
Stevens tallies 16th career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Penn State’s starting frontcourt of Lamar Stevens and Seth Lundy combined for 39 points, but the No. 16 Nittany Lions (21-8, 11-7) were unable to overcome Iowa’s strong second-half shooting in its 77-68 loss to the No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes (20-9, Saturday afternoon at Carver Hawkeye Arena. Stevens scored 20 points as part of his 16th career double-double with 10 rebounds, and Lundy’s 19 points were a career best.
“Fran has done a great job all year and their team plays really well at home,” said Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers. “We knew it was going to be a dogfight. They really jumped us in the second half, I thought that was the difference, that first eight minutes in the second half, we couldn’t really recover. They played with great energy and passion, they made all the right plays. The league is so good, so relentless, so suffocating, especially on the road. I know we have had some really good wins this year…We’ll learn from this, we’ll watch film and we’re going to get better.”
Iowa made three-straight field goals to open the second half for an eight-point lead, 42-34. Penn State struggled after the break, going 0-5, and getting only two points from the free throw line in the first four minutes.
A Myles Dread trey at the 15-minute mark pulled Penn State within seven, 47-40. Four different Hawkeyes scored points over the next three minutes as Iowa extended its lead to 13, 55-42. The stretch included two free throws off a technical foul after a personal foul, which sent Iowa to the free throw line.
At 11:09, a Stevens jumper dropped the Iowa lead to single-digits again, 55-47, but over the next five minutes, Penn State had only two more baskets, both by Stevens. Penn State’s 35.3 field goal percentage in the second half, while Iowa shot 50 percent from the field, allowed the Hawkeyes to take control of the game and lead by double-digits.
Penn State continued to battle, getting key stops and connecting on four-straight baskets to close the gap to the final, 77-68.
Lundy had five three-pointers, including four in the first half for the Nittany Lions, and had a career-best two steals. He With 11-straight points Penn State trailed by just one, 35-34, after a tightly contested first half that included seven lead changes.
Stevens led the Nittany Lions with 10 rebounds to record his 16th career double-double.
Luke Garza paced Iowa with 25 points on 11-17 from the field and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds for the Hawkeyes.