clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Big Ten Wednesday Recap: Penn State Nittany Lions Stun Iowa Hawkeyes

BTPowerhouse recaps the Big Ten action from Wednesday night.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a team that was 4-9 in the conference before Wednesday night, the race for the Big Ten crown just got a lot tighter. In the biggest upset of the Big Ten this season, the Penn State Nittany Lions shocked the conference's top team, making Indiana and Maryland fans very happy.

Let's take a look at the action.

Game of the Night: Iowa Hawkeyes 75, Penn State Nittany Lions 79

When a team beats you 73-49, it's easy to find things you can improve on; that's exactly what Pat Chamber's Nittany Lions did Wednesday night. Two weeks after a beat down in Iowa City, Penn State took down the top ranked team in the Big Ten 79-75.

It wasn't looking good for Penn State early as the Hawkeyes  jumped out to a 12-4 lead. Just when you thought the Lions would get rolled over by Iowa for a second time in 14 days, however, they responded. Sophomore guard Shep Garner found the back of the net on back to back threes to get Penn State and its crowd back in to the game.

As Iowa continued to play with the lead in the first half, Nicholas Baer hit a long range shot to put Fran McCaffery's team up 25-18 with under 8 minutes to go in the first half. Garner, however, would continue to respond as he hit his 4th deep ball of the first half and was responsible for 14 of the team's first 21 points. This led to a 10-0 run for Penn State, who would never relinquish the lead. The Nittany Lions went in to halftime with a 38-31 advantage after scoring just 2 points in the first 6 minutes of game time.

While Iowa was able to cut the lead to 2 at multiple points in the second half, the Hawkeyes could never get over the hump and grab the lead back from the Lions. In the second half, it was Brandon Taylor and Jack who continued to respond to any Iowa run. Fran McCaffery's team made things interesting at the end as Peter Jok scored 8 points in the final 40 seconds, but Penn State made their free throws and iced the game away.

Despite being just 13-13 on the season, this is obviously a huge program win for Pat Chambers. This is the 2nd ranked team Penn State has beaten in 11 days at home, and the 5th time in program history the Lions have taken down a top 5 school.

Donovan Jack owned the middle for the Lions as he scored all 8 of his field goals in the paint (8-9 overall) on his way to a career high 19 points. Penn State also shot 10-28 from deep after shooting just 1-20 at Iowa. The Lions are still alive for an NIT birth, and this win could go a long way. Penn State will travel to Rutgers this Saturday to face a winless Scarlet Knights team.

Peter Jok and Jarrod Uthoff combined for 47 of the Hawkeyes' 75 points Wednesday as no other player reached double figures. Iowa has now lost 2 out of 3 games after starting Big Ten play 10-1 and will have a week off before hosting Wisconsin.

The Rest:

-Nebraska Cornhuskers 64, Indiana Hoosiers 80

Following the first game, there wasn't much Indiana and Nebraska could do to take the spotlight off Penn State on Wednesday night. The Hoosiers did a good job of making sure there wasn't a second upset of the evening as they handled business against Nebraska 80-64.

The Huskers found themselves leading for most of the first half as they played their third straight game without Shavon Shields. Jack McVeigh came out hot for Nebraska with 12 points in the first 15 minutes as Tim Miles' team found themselves leading on the road 30-24 with 5 minutes left in the first half.

The last 5 minutes of the first half burned Nebraska as the Hoosiers ran off a 17-4 run and took a 41-34 lead in to halftime. The story of the first half besides the late run was free throws. Indiana shot 11-16 from the line while Nebraska failed to make any of their four attempts.

The second half started a lot like the first ended as Indiana went on a 13-2 run, pushing the total run to 30-6 and taking an 18 point lead. This was the last straw for a shorthanded Cornhusker team as the closest they would cut the lead the rest of the way was 8.

Troy Williams was huge for Indiana as he shot 8-9 for 18 points. The Hoosiers bench also combined for 8-16 shooting and 26 points. Tom Crean's squad is now tied at the top of the Big Ten with Iowa and will host Purdue on Saturday.

Tai Webster was big for Nebraska off the bench as he shot 6-7 for 14 points off the bench. The Cornhuskers will play Ohio State on Saturday at home.