Iowa's Defense Stifles Penn State

Iowa found themselves in a must win situation heading into Wednesday night's game at Penn State. When it was all said and done, that must win turned into a convincing 75-55 win for the Hawkeyes.

6-9 junior center Sean Sonderleiter scored six quick points to help Iowa jump out to an early 9-3 lead with 15:30 remaining in the first half.

Penn State pounded the offensive boards in the first half, helping keep the Nittany Lions within reach of the Hawkeyes at halftime. Iowa held onto a slim 30-28 lead at the break.

The second half was a much different story, as Iowa's defense and ability to limit Penn State's offensive rebounds, helped the Hawkeyes make an early run in the second half.

Over the first ten minutes of the second half, Iowa outscored Penn State 25-14 stretching their two point halftime lead into a 13 point lead at 55-42 with 10:42 remaining in the game.

Penn State would make one last attempt at the Hawkeyes as they would use a 11-1 run over the next 2:11 to draw within three points of Iowa at 56-53. 6-1 junior guard Sharif Chambliss capped off the run with his fourth three point basket of the second half with 8:36 to go in the game.

Iowa's defense would come up huge for the Hawkeyes as they would hold the Nittany Lions to just one field goal over the final 8:36. During that time, Iowa would turn a close game into a convincing 75-55 win as they used a 19-2 run to end the game.

6-1 senior combo guard Chauncey Leslie led four Hawkeyes in scoring with 22 points. Sonderleiter, who scored a career high 18 points, also collected 11 rebounds, marking the first double-double of his career.

5-11 junior combo guard Brody Boyd, who earned his first start of the season, added a season high 16 points on 3-6 shooting from beyond the three point line. 6-7 junior forward Glen Worley ended up with 10 points.

With Jared Reiner, the Big Ten's leading rebounder, missing his second game due to a sprained MCL, Iowa struggled on the boards in the first half, especially on the defensive end. However the Hawkeyes closed the gap in the second half, as they limited Penn State's number of offensive rebounds, especially in the final 8:36 of the game. The Nittany Lions won the war on the boards 40-37.

Penn State struggled from the floor as they shot 20-68 (29.4%). While Iowa, who was more patient and had more fast break opportunities, finished 22-43 (51.2%) from the floor.

With the win, Iowa snapped a three game conference losing streak and improved their record to 12-6 overall and 4-3 in Big Ten play.

Iowa will be back on the road again this Saturday, as they travel to Ann Arbor to take on the surprising Michigan Wolverines.

HTO.com Player of the Game: Sean Sonderleiter 18 points (Career High), 11 rebounds (First Career Double-Double)


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