Every game in the Big Ten season becomes increasingly important as the season winds down. This matchup carries huge implications as Penn State battles for a Big Ten title and the Hoosiers battle for their March Madness lives. Indiana has played better as of late and a lot of that can be tied to the increased playing time of Race Thompson. Along with Trayce Jackson Davis, the two have dominated the paint when paired together. Penn State has to be the surprise team of the season and a win here is imperative if they want to catch Maryland for the Big Ten lead. So what will be the keys to the game? Let’s take a look?
The Hoosiers are ranked 20th in the nation at getting to the line and Penn State is prone to foul a lot. If the Hoosiers are to win this game they don’t just need to get to the foul line, they need to convert when they get there.
The Nittany Lions are very good at controlling tempo and Indiana has had issues at times. Penn State takes care of the ball while the Hoosiers can be inconsistent in that aspect. Against Minnesota Rob Phinisee and Al Durham did not try to force the action and it will be imperative that they do not do so. Everything HAS to run through T.J.D. and Race Thompson before anything else should even be considered. Devonte Green can not be allowed to enter the game and take quick shots or to make forced pass attempts. The Hoosiers can be a very good team if they play inside of their limits.
This will be a game where a 5 or 7-minute scoring drought will kill the hopes of Hoosier nation as the Nittany Lions have been good this year at not having lapses even on the road, so the Hoosiers need to bring the A game for a full 450 minutes.
This will be huge! Can Jones play and if he can will he be 100%? Jones relieves some of the load from Lamar Stevens and that could swing this game in the favor of Penn State. If Jones does not play the Nittany Lions role players will have to step up to help Stevens in the scoring department.
Common sense will tell you Penn State will win this game! Luckily I lack that and I am taking the Hoosiers to squeak out a huge win that could put them in the field of 68 when it’s all said and done. Look for a big game from TJD and Race Thompson and a few three-pointers from Devonte and the Hoosiers pull it out.
Hoosiers 75, Nittany Lions 72
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