Nittany Lions Lose Again

Penn State unable to recover from poor start at Iowa, drops fifth straight game.

Penn State's losing streak stretched to five games with a 64-49 defeat at Iowa Saturday. The Nittany Lions fell behind 21-5 early, and while they eventually picked up the pace, it was not nearly enough.

On his post-game radio show, DeChellis was at a loss to explain the early funk: “I don't have an answer. … We have a hard time scoring.”

PSU is now 10-8 overall and 2-5 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes are 10-11 and 3-5.

Penn State opened with a three-guard lineup for the first time this season. Stanley Pringle replaced forward Jeff Brooks as a starter, joining Talor Battle and Danny Morrissey in forming the starting backcourt. The forwards were Jamelle Cornley and David Jackson.

Though Pringle played well, the shakeup did little to help PSU's struggling offense. Through the game's first 10 minutes, the Lions made one shot — a short jumper by Cornley. But by the time Battle made the team's second bucket (a 3-pointer) midway though the half State was already in a 13-5 hole.

“Early, we couldn't hit a shot,” Pringle said.

Hawkeye Justin Johnson countered with a triple and the Lions trailed by as many as 16 (21-5) before cutting it to 29-17 at the break.

Penn State was awful on both ends in the opening 20 minutes, making only 7 of 24 shots (29.2 percent) while allowing Iowa to convert 10 of 19 (52.6 percent). Most troubling for the Lions is that their three-guard look didn't work because only two of them (Battle and Pringle) were effective. The team combined for two assists in the half.

PSU's most effective play was clearing a side for the speedy Pringle, who made 4 of 9 shots for eight points.

Cornley had five points in the half, but spent the last five minutes on the bench after twisting a knee. He returned in the second half — finishing with 15 points — but was clearly not at the top of his game.

Penn State cut the lead to less than 10 several times in the second half but never could make things interesting.

Pringle and Battle played well together, scoring 17 and 11 points respectively and combining for eight steals. Add in Cornley's 15 points, and three players combined for 43 of the team's 49 points.

Meanwhile, Morrissey and fellow veteran guard Mike Walker combined to go 0-1 from the field in 36 minutes.

“They couldn't shake free,” DeChellis said. “They have to shoot for us. They have to score.”

The PSU bench was outscored 19-2.


• The Lions have been butchered on the boards since Geary Claxton was lost for the year with a knee injury. In this one, Iowa held a 34-22 advantage.

• Penn State's embarrassing free-throw shooting continued in this game. The Lions were 5 of 11, for 45.5 percent.

• This game was key for the Lions because now they have back-to-back home tilts with conference powers Ohio State and Michigan State. The OSU game tips at 7 p.m. Tuesday and will be carried by ESPN.


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