BLOOMINGTON – Coach Patrick Chambers hardly recognized Penn State for the first 36 minutes Wednesday night.
Indiana coach Tom Crean hardly recognized his in the last two.
Penn State’s D.J. Newbill came up with a steal with 12.3 seconds to go, and Tim Frazier followed a timeout by driving for the go-ahead layup with 6.1 seconds left to give Penn State (13-12, 4-8 Big Ten) its only lead of the game and a stunning 66-65 victory at Indiana.
It just became a different game, Chambers said. We were pressing, we weren’t pressing the whole game. You know what, 18- to 23-year-olds sometimes all of a sudden you’re down and then you’re going to play hard. It’s like. Where was this for the first 36 minutes?’
Crean and his players didn’t mince words about the collapse, either. Crean contended his team lacked awareness, acknowledging that was the politest critique he could make.
Will Sheehey’s description: We panicked; we didn’t stay true to the scouting report.
Indiana (14-10, 4-7) appeared to have control after extending a 36-30 halftime lead to 54-41 on Yogi Ferrell’s 3-pointer with 11:21 to go.
Back came Penn State, closing the deficit to 56-51 with 6:33 remaining. Ferrell then scored four straight points in a 7-0 run that allowed Indiana to retake a 63-51 lead with 3:34 to go.
At that point, it appeared all the Hoosiers had to do was make free throws to seal it.
But the Hoosiers found a different way to lose it.
The turnovers, there is no excuse, Crean said. I’d like to say, you know what, if we did this if we did that. What if we just aired it out and slowed it down. I’m not sure there’s an answer.
The Nittany Lions found one, though.
After getting a 3 from Newbill, two free throws from Frazier and a 3 from Brandon Taylor, Indiana went into full panic mode.
Penn State converted a traveling call into a basket from Taylor, which made it 65-63 with 67 seconds left.
Frazier then came up with a loose-ball steal in the corner right in front of his bench for an open shot by Ross Travis. He wound getting fouled, making only 1 of 2 free throws with 14.4 seconds to go, and then Newbill stole the next inbound pass near midcourt.
He made the second of two free throws, forcing Indiana to inbound the ball again. This time, Newbill picked off the errant pass, and after a timeout, Frazier read the defense perfectly and scored the decisive layup that capped the 13-1 run that erased Indiana’s seemingly safe 11-point lead with 3:19 to play.
Ferrell had a chance to win it at the buzzer with a contested 17-foot jumper. It bounced off the front of the rim.
We want to try to force as many turnovers as possible, Frazier said. You want to continue to play hard on defense, dive, get rebounds. We did that together as a team and that helped us out at the end.
The Nittany Lions forced Indiana into 20 turnovers.