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Ace Baldwin Jr. propels Penn State past Indiana

Feb 3, 2024; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers center Kel'el Ware (1) shoots the ball while Penn State Nittany Lions forward Qudus Wahab (22) defends in the first half at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ace Baldwin Jr. recorded 22 points and a game-high eight assists as visiting Penn State pulled away for an 85-71 victory over Indiana on Saturday afternoon in Bloomington, Ind.

Playing without top scorer Kanye Clary (undisclosed injury), the Nittany Lions (11-11, 5-6 Big Ten) entered having lost four of their previous six games. They only led the Hoosiers by three points with just over 13 minutes remaining before erupting for a 10-0 burst that permanently shifted the momentum in their favor.

Qudus Wahab began the run with a hook shot before D’Marco Dunn and Jameel Brown each drained a 3-pointer. Wahab capped the uprising with a jumper to make it 61-48.

The Nittany Lions led by double digits the rest of the way.

Zach Hicks chipped in 19 points for Penn State, making four of the team’s 12 3-pointers. Brown also made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. Wahab (14 points on 7-of-8 shooting) and Dunn (10 points) also made strong contributions for the Nittany Lions.

Kel’el Ware led Indiana (13-9, 5-6) with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Malik Reneau registered 16 points, while Mackenzie Mgbako (13 points) and Trey Galloway (12) also reached double figures on the day.

The Hoosiers struggled from 3-point range, shooting 2 of 10 in the second half and 5 of 19 overall. The Nittany Lions, meanwhile, finished 12 of 22 from outside the arc as part of a crisp 57.4 percent shooting effort overall.

Down the stretch, the Hoosiers got within 68-57 before Baldwin knocked down a 3-pointer and Hicks drained two free throws. When Indiana got back within 12 again, Hicks made a 3-pointer to halt the momentum.

The visitors’ lead stretched to as many as 18 on Hicks’ three foul shots with 3:08 remaining.

Ware led all players with 17 first-half points on 6-of-6 shooting as Indiana led 41-37 at intermission. The hosts led by as many as 11 in the opening session before Penn State closed the half on a 14-7 run.

–Field Level Media

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