Indiana 75, Penn St. 58
Thursday, March 8, 2012 1:55 PM
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
D.J. Carstensen, Ed Hightower, Ray Perone
Final Scoring Summary
Indiana 75, Penn State 58: Cody Zeller had 19 points and 10 rebounds as Indiana cruised to a victory over the Nittany Lions in the first round of the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.
Jordan Hulls finished with 20 points and Christian Watford added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the fifth-seeded Hoosiers (25-7), who will take on fourth-seed Wisconsin Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals.
But the win, Indiana’s first in the Big Ten tournament since 2006, could perhaps be a costly one.
Verdell Jones III, a senior guard who has played a prominent role for the Hoosiers, suffered a right knee injury late in the first half after falling to the floor while driving the lane. Jones, who averages 7.8 points, screamed in pain before being helped off the court moments later.
Indiana officials said Jones’ injury is a right knee sprain. His status for the rest of the tournament wasn’t immediately known, and he will be further evaluated.
The injury overshadowed an otherwise strong performance by the Hoosiers, who took a 38-32 lead at the half and extended the advantage to 54-34 with 12:24 left in the second half.
Tim Frazier had a team-high 26 points for Penn State (12-20), which was held to less than 60 points for the fifth time in its last 10 games. Trey Lewis had 11 and Jermaine Marshall added nine for the Nittany Lions, who cooled off after a strong first half and shot 34 percent.
The Nittany Lions made just three field goals in the first 14 minutes of the second half before Lewis made back-to-back 3-pointers to pull them within 65-49 with 5:30 left.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Tom Crean picked up his first-ever Big Ten Conference tournament victory and is now 1-3 all-time … Frazier finished with the second-most shot attempts (24) in a conference tournament game in Big Ten history … Indiana improved to 9-14 and Penn State fell to 9-15 all-time in the conference tournament … Watford went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line … Indiana outrebounded the Nittany Lions 38-28, and 30 of the rebounds came from Zeller, Watford and Victor Oladipo, who had five points and 10 rebounds.
Penn St. Nittany Lions