Despite a 13-point lead with 11:22 left in the second half, Indiana fell in the closing seconds off three straight turnovers in the final 33 seconds to Penn State 66-65 Wednesday night at Assembly Hall. Yogi Ferrell led the Hoosiers with 16 points, but his final shot, his most important, didn't fall.
After a Ferrell 3-pointer with 11:22 to go, IU took the team's largest lead of the evening, and even after the Nittany Lions came within five, the Hoosiers bumped it back up to double-digits and led by 11 with 3:19 to go. But two 3-pointers from D.J. Newbill and Brandon Taylor brought Penn State right back. The Nittany Lions excelled from beyond the arc the entire game, shooting 8-for-19.
Penn State pulled within two points with just over a minute left but drew an offensive foul with just 16 seconds left. Will Sheehey tried inbounding the ball to Ferrell, but it got batted away and Sheehey was forced the foul Ross Travis driving to the hoop.
He hit just 1-of-2 at the line, but Noah Vonleh threw away another inbounds pass right to Newbill, and Penn State called a timeout. With 6.1 seconds left, Tim Frazier hit a layup to take his team's first lead of the game, and a desperation Ferrell 3-pointer wouldn't fall.
In the first half, one of IU's three starting freshmen gave the Hoosiers energy on the offensive end. Stanford Robinson scored six of IU's first 10 points, and he finished with 11 to go along with one rebound, three assists, a block and a steal after being held scoreless against Minnesota Saturday night.
Noah Vonleh, on the other hand, was bothered all evening by Penn State's double-team he saw early and often nearly every time he touched the ball. He was held to just eight points, but he also added 12 rebounds, four blocks, one assist and a steal to fill up his stat sheet. His three turnovers, though, didn't help.
Despite holding Newbill, Taylor and Frazier, three of Penn State's most trusted scorers to eight-combined first half points, the Nittany Lions continued to hang around. The Hoosiers shot 59 percent from the floor but turned the ball over 10 times to Penn State's six. Some came off of careless passes from numerous players, while Penn State's press caused IU into a 10 second backcourt violation as well.
After the Nittany Lions pulled within a point, 29-28 with just over four minutes to play in the first half, the Hoosiers ran off on a seven-point tear before allowing a layup from Donovon Jack with 0.3 seconds left in the half to go into the locker room ahead 36-30.
But to start the second half, the Hoosiers came out confident, not allowing to Penn State get right back within a possession or two as had been common during a few of IU's recent losses to Minnesota and Nebraska. Troy Williams threw down an alley-oop with 17:12 left off the feed from Yogi Ferrell to give IU the team's first double-digit lead of the evening.
Up until the final minutes, the Hoosiers maintained a confident lead, but 20 turnovers proved to once again be their Achilles' Heel. Ferrell finished with four, along with three from Vonleh and Will Sheehey.
Frazier led Penn State with 14 points on just 3-of-10 shooting from the field, but his perfect 8-for-8 free throw shooting proved to be crucial in his team's one-point victory.
Sheehey followed Ferrell in points for the Hoosiers with 12, just one point shy of reaching 1,000 for his college career.
Saturday, the Hoosiers will travel to in-state rival Purdue to try and snap the team's two-game losing streak. The game tips at 4 p.m.
Keep checking AllHoosiers.com for the rest of our coverage, including articles, videos and analysis on IU's late-game defeat.