Hoosiers hold off pesky Penn St. 74-70 in defensive grinder
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Juwan Morgan scored 21 points and Josh Newkirk added 16 on Tuesday to help Indiana hold off pesky Penn State 74-70.
The Hoosiers (10-7, 3-2) have won two in a row and four of five.
Tony Carr had 28 points and Lamar Stevens finished with 20 to lead the Nittany Lions (12-6, 2-3), who have split their last four games.
But the defenses sure didn't make it easy.
After taking a 47-36 lead on Robert Johnson's 3-pointer with 15:15 to play, Penn State charged back with a 7-2 spurt and cut the deficit to 56-53 on Carr's short floater with 7:22 left.
Indiana answered with a short jumper from Morgan and a 3 from Devonte Green to rebuild the lead and though the Hoosiers couldn't pull away, the Nittany Lions never had a chance to take the lead or tie the score.
Instead, they kept playing catch-up.
After cutting the deficit to four twice in the final minute, Carr's 3-pointer with 8 seconds to go made it 70-67 and Nazeer Bostick's 3 with 1.5 seconds left made it 72-70.
But Devonte Green made two free throws to seal it with 1 second left.
Penn State: Stevens and Carr can cause matchup problems for a lot of Big Ten teams, and the Nittany Lions' defense is going to make things tough on everyone. Yes, Penn State is improving quickly but they really missed guard Josh Reaves on Tuesday.
Indiana: It was a gritty, gutsy performance for the Hoosiers. And that's how coach Archie Miller likes to see his team play. He knew the Hoosiers needed to be at their best defensively in this one and though they weren't perfect, they were good enough.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions are 3-20 all-time at Assembly Hall. ... Mike Watkins had 10 points and 12 rebounds. ... Stevens had seven rebounds. ... Penn State shot 50 percent from the field, was 6 of 14 on 3s but had 14 turnovers.
Indiana: The Hoosiers have won 11 straight in this series when scoring 72 points or more. ... Robert Johnson had 10 points and five rebounds. ... Green finished with 13 points and Collin Hartman had 10. ... The Hoosiers bench outscored Penn State's backups 25-1. ... Indiana was 6 of 27 on 3s and had nine turnovers.
Penn State was short-handed Tuesday because guard Josh Reaves didn't make the trip.
Shortly before game time, the athletic department issued a statement explaining Reaves' absence.
"He remained in State College to attend to some academic concerns," it said, noting the team hoped it was only a one-game aberration.
Reaves is a key defender for a team that started the game leading the Big Ten in steals. He was ranked 15th nationally (2.47) and needs two more to move into the top 10 on Penn State's career list.
Penn State: Hosts Nebraska on Friday.
Indiana: Plays its second straight home game Sunday against Northwestern.