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Penn State holds off Indiana for first Big Ten win of season

Sportsnaut
Jan 2, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Jalen Pickett (22) looks to pass the ball as Indiana Hoosiers forward Jordan Geronimo (22) defends during the first half at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Jalen Pickett (22) looks to pass the ball as Indiana Hoosiers forward Jordan Geronimo (22) defends during the first half at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Pickett scored 15 points and Penn State held off a late charge to beat Indiana 61-58 Sunday in State College, Pa.

The Nittany Lions (6-5, 1-2 Big Ten) led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but Indiana cut the deficit to 59-58 on an inside basket by Trayce Jackson-Davis with 57 seconds remaining. But Penn State was able to hold Indiana scoreless on its final two offensive possessions, and Sam Sessoms made a pair of clutch free throws with 13 seconds left to help seal the win.

The Hoosiers (10-3, 1-2) had a chance to tie the game at the end of regulation, but Rob Phinisee and Jackson-Davis both missed 3-point attempts before the clock expired.

Jackson-Davis led all scorers with 20 points for Indiana. The Hoosiers fell to 0-3 on the road this season and have dropped seven straight road games dating back to last season.

Myles Dread added 12 points for Penn State, including a big 3-pointer that put the Nittany Lions up 57-53 with 1:50 left. Penn State shot 50 percent (11-for-22) from 3-point range and also dominated on the boards, outrebounding Indiana 39-29.

Sessoms finished with 10 points.

Pickett scored eight points in the first half, including a jumper with 21 seconds left that allowed Penn State to take a slim 27-26 lead into halftime. The Nittany Lions overcame eight first-half turnovers by shooting 5 of 11 from 3-point range.

Indiana led by as many as five early in the first half, going up 16-11 on a Race Thompson 3-pointer. But the Nittany Lions answered with a 3-pointer from Dread to cut the Indiana lead to 16-14.

Seth Lundy put Penn State ahead 19-18 with a 3-pointer with 7:41 remaining in the half. Indiana responded with an 8-3 run, going up 26-22 on a hook shot from Jackson-Davis. But Penn State closed the half with a 5-0 run, holding Indiana scoreless the final 2:16 while scoring on a Lundy 3-pointer and Pickett’s jumper.

Indiana shot just 36.7 percent from the field in the first half and 22.2 percent (2-for-9) from 3-point range. For the game, the Hoosiers were just 23.5 percent (4-for-17) from beyond the arc.

–Field Level Media