PHILADELPHIA — The sold out crowd of 7,881 got its money’s worth Saturday in the City of Brotherly Love.
In a game that included 10 ties and 25 lead changes, No. 21 Penn State out-lasted the 23rd-ranked University of Iowa men’s basketball team, 89-86, at The Palestra.
Two Hawkeyes — junior Luka Garza and sophomore Joe Wieskamp — posted double-doubles. Garza scored 34 points and had 12 rebounds, while Wieskamp finished with 23 points and 10 boards.
Garza made 13-of-19 field goals in the game, but went just 7-of-14 from the free throw line. Wieskamp finished 8-of-15 from the floor with five 3-pointers, and freshman Joe Toussaint scored a career-high 18 points.
The Hawkeyes shot 47.7 percent from the floor and made 11 3-pointers, while Penn State shot 45.8 percent and went 8-of-28 from long range. Both teams missed seven free throws, but the Nittany Lions were a perfect 6-for-6 down the stretch.
Penn State led by as many as eight points twice in the first half before the Hawkeyes reeled off nine unanswered, capped by a Wieskamp 3-pointer to take a 38-37 lead. The Nittany Lions led 39-38 at the break.
The Hawkeyes took control in the second half, using a 12-4 run to build a 68-61 lead with 9:31 remaining. Garza scored nine points during the stretch.
Penn State fought back to take a 77-76 lead on a Curtis Jones 3-pointer with 3:03 remaining and Mike Watkins broke a 79-all tie with a dunk off an Myles Dread alley-oop to give the Nittany Lions the lead for good with 1:42 to play. Dread made all six of his free throws in the final 28 seconds.
Quoting Head Coach Fran McCaffery
“We did a lot of good things today, but we lost to a really good team. We did some things that were uncharacteristic, but we had some guys in some situations where they had to react. We out-rebounded them and fought hard. You don’t want to turn the ball over 15 times against this team, they turn turnovers into points. When they were struggling from the perimeter that’s when they got their energy back on a bad shot or turnover.”
The Hawkeyes’ bench got even shorter Saturday in Philadelphia. Redshirt freshman CJ Fredrick played 14 minutes, but didn’t see the court in the second half because of an ankle injury. Fredrick went scoreless in the game.
- Garza’s double-double was his eighth of the season and it was his third game with 30 or more points.
- Wieskamp’s double-double was his first of the season and the second of his career. Wieskamp’s 23 points tied a season high and was one off a career high.
- Penn State’s reserves had a 46-8 advantage in the game.
- Iowa won the rebounding battle, 43-39.
- The Hawkeyes committed 15 turnovers, which led to 20 Penn State points.
The Hawkeyes return to action Tuesday, traveling to Lincoln to face Nebraska at 8 p.m. (CT).