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Quick takes: Lions just haven’t learned how to win, and bad officiating hurt this time

Photo by Indiana Athletics: Izaiah Brockington

Penn State fought back from down 12 in the second half and went to overtime at Indiana on Wednesday but lost, 87-85, to drop to 0-3 in the Big Ten.

Cory Giger’s takes from the game:

**This is a pretty good Penn State team, but it hasn’t yet learned how to win. The Nittany Lions are much better than I or just about anyone else thought they would be heading into the season. And yet they are 0-3 in the Big Ten after the tough loss in Bloomington. This team just doesn’t know how to win yet, not in close games against quality Big Ten competition. We’ve seen this a lot from Penn State basketball over the years — play well enough to just barely lose, and it looks like this year’s team is in the same boat. The Lions lost a tough one at Michigan in the Big Ten opener and were in the game late at Illinois before the Illini poured it on at the finish. In this game at Indiana, Penn State had its opportunities, but at the end of the day, the Lions couldn’t get the big stop they needed on defense and couldn’t score on the other end at the end of overtime.

**Penn State STILL cannot catch a break from the officials on the road. I know, I know, a lot of people don’t want to hear this. It sounds like an excuse. And we’ve heard it for years with PSU basketball. But sometimes it is true that a call or two doesn’t go Penn State’s way. That happened twice late in regulation. Myles Dread was called for a ticky tack foul with 7 seconds to go, and Indiana hit 1-of-2 free throws to tie it at 80. Then, as Sam Sessoms tried to get off a 3 to win it, he was not allowed to land on his jump shot as the Indiana defender stepped in. There was no contact on the shooter, but as BTN broadcaster Robbie Hummel pointed out on the air, the defender has to let the shooter come down and land. It didn’t happen. When the game went to OT, Hummel lamented that Penn State couldn’t be happy about some of the late calls.

See what Jim Ferry had to say about the late calls in the video on my tweet:

**Penn State’s defense isn’t good enough. Yes, the Lions almost won. But Indiana shot 57 percent for the game and 64 percent in the second half. You cannot expect to win in the Big Ten allowing the opposition to shoot that well. Jim Ferry is an offensive coach. The offense is pretty good. But defense was a big problem when Ferry was at Duquesne, and that’s been the case the past two games, as Illinois shot 55.6 percent in scoring 98 points on the Lions

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We will have a full game recap from our reporter in Bloomington coming up in a bit.

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Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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