Tue, 24 May 2022

Iowa hosts Penn State as both teams are hungry for a win

Field Level Media
22 Jan 2022, 05:55 GMT+10

Wednesday brought disappointment to both Iowa and Penn State, for very different reasons.

Both teams hope to get rid of that bitter taste Saturday when the Big Ten foes square off in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes (13-5, 3-4 Big Ten) suffered a 48-46 defeat to Rutgers on Wednesday as they were whistled for a controversial foul in the waning seconds, leading to the go-ahead free throws.

In addition to the disappointing final sequence, Iowa shot poorly from the field (27.9 percent), the 3-point line (6 of 27) and the foul line (6 of 11) despite entering with six wins in its previous seven games.

"I saw really good defense," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of Keegan Murray's foul that sent Ron Harper Jr. to the line for the decisive free throws. "It was a really physical and hard-fought game, and it should not come down to that. It just shouldn't, we should be playing overtime."

Penn State (8-7, 3-4) would have loved to be playing basketball of any kind on Wednesday, as its tilt against Minnesota was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Golden Gophers' program.

The Nittany Lions have dropped two of their last three -- both against ranked opponents -- and now essentially have a three-game road trip due to Wednesday's canceled home date.

Seth Lundy, the Nittany Lions' leading scorer at 14.1 points per game, missed the Ohio State contest and is considered day-to-day at this point, although coach Micah Shrewsberry has not offered a specific reason for his absence.

"Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to -- university policies," Shrewsberry said Monday. "I'm not allowed to talk about injuries or illnesses. So that's -- I try and be as forthcoming with you guys as possible, but at some point in time, my hands are tied behind my back in terms of what I can say. That's a matter that we're not allowed to speak on right now."

If Lundy remains sidelined Saturday, Penn State likely will lean on Sam Sessoms, who had a team-high 15 points against Ohio State, and Jalen Pickett, who had 11 in that contest and ranks second on the team in scoring average at 13.3 points per game.

Iowa won last season's matchup 74-68 and has taken a victory in three of its last four meetings with the Nittany Lions.

--Field Level Media

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