Burton, who had played only 36 minutes all season, entered the game with 12:03 remaining and the score knotted at 51-51. The Hoosiers (13-4, 3-1 Big Ten) needed to make a run, or risk being beaten by the Nittany Lions at Assembly Hall for the second straight year.
By the time Burton exited the game at the 6:43 mark, Indiana led 69-59. The crowd stood and cheered as Burton jogged to the bench, appreciative of the five significant minutes the Bedford native had given the Hoosiers.
In those five minutes, Burton grabbed three offensive rebounds, resulting in five points. The Hoosiers had only one offensive board in 28 minutes before Burton entered the game.
"He wasn't even on the scouting report, but he just rebounded, defended, does his job, throws his body around," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said afterward. "He does exactly what Indiana basketball preaches forever and a day."
Indiana coach Tom Crean said he doesn't know if Burton will continue to get minutes during Mosquera-Perea's absence, but said the coaching staff really likes what he brings.
"[Assistant coach] Steve McClain was in my ear since last night saying, 'Don't forget about Ryan'," Crean said. "He was exactly right. It's all about momentum. The other day it was Troy's plays, they get momentum and he came in and brought us momentum. He was ready when his name was called. That's what you want as much as anything else. But sometimes you're feeling your way through it, and you're looking for that dose."