Penn State’s men’s basketball team is starting to look like a team in the middle of a rebuild.
After an impressive stretch in which the Lions won three of four Big Ten games, Penn State has hit the skids as of late, dropping three straight and two by double digits. This past Wednesday’s loss at Indiana was much uglier than the 74-57 final score indicates. The Lions were down 46-17 at the half, and the outcome was decided even before that.
Now, after four days without a game, Penn State is back at the Bryce Jordan Center for the first time in almost three weeks. The Nittany Lions (8-9, 3-6) will host the Iowa Hawkeyes (14-6, 4-5), making it the second time in less than 10 days that the two teams have played. Although Iowa has six more overall wins than Penn State does, the Lions can tie the Hawks in the Big Ten standings with a win tonight.
Penn State was competitive with Iowa for most of its 68-51 loss Jan. 22, but the Hawkeyes pulled away in the final four minutes for a double-digit win.
Keegan Murray led Iowa with 15 points, despite scoring more than seven points below his season average. The 6-foot-8 sophomore forward leads the Big Ten in scoring average at 22.4 points per game and contributes 8.4 rebounds a night as well. Keegan Murray’s twin brother, Kris— also 6-foot-8– is another contributor for Iowa, averaging 10.6 points per game. Patrick McCaffery, the son of head coach Fran, averages 10.8 points a night and Jordan Bohannon chips on 10.4. Iowa is second only to Purdue in points per game at 82.6, which also ranks seventh in the country.
Penn State’s last win over Iowa was Jan. 4, 2020. The Hawkeyes have a 33-18 overall edge in the series.
The Hawkeyes are 4-point road favorites accord to sportsline The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and streamed on FoxSports.com. Jason Horowitz (play-by-play) and Andy Katz (color) will have the call. Penn State fans unable to watch the game can tune into Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi on any of these Penn State affiliates.