By the time the Nittany Lions got comfortable Saturday night against Iowa, it was too late.
Penn State scored only five points in the first 12 minutes of play en route to a 64-49 loss in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Lions trailed 21-5 with 7:34 remaining in the first half, and although they outscored Iowa during the remainder of the game, the early deficit was too much to overcome.
The loss was the Lions' fifth consecutive and fourth straight by 15 points or more. It was also the Lions' second straight game scoring less than 50 points.
"We obviously have a hard time scoring," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said on the Penn State Sports Network. "Sometimes our shot selection was not what it needs to be, we're not screening to get each other open to get better shots."
The Lions are still winless without the injured Geary Claxton, and more bad news on the injury front could be on the way.
Jamelle Cornley, who missed three games earlier this season with a bone bruise on his left knee, had the injury flare up again on Saturday.
"He hurt his knee again in the first half, but he said he wanted to play and try and steal this thing," DeChellis said. "We let him go as long as he could."
Cornley's injury was not apparent from his stat line. He scored 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting and led the Lions with five rebounds.
Losing Cornley for any period of time would be a serious detriment to a roster that is already extremely thin from the loss of Claxton, and is heading into one of the toughest stretches on its schedule, with Ohio State and No. 10 Michigan State up next for the Lions.
The trio of Talor Battle, Stanley Pringle and Cornley accounted for 43 of the Lions' 49 points, and Penn State got only two points from its bench.
Pringle tied a career-high with 17 points in his first career start.
Part of the Lions' offensive struggles can be attributed to their inability to work Danny Morrissey and Mike Walker, the team's top two 3-point shooters, into the offense on a consistent basis. Morrissey and Walker combined to shoot 0-for-1 from the field on the game.
Jeff Peterson led the Hawkeyes with 19 points. Peterson did not miss a shot from the field or free throw line.
One bright spot for Penn State was its ability to force turnovers. Battle and Pringle each had four steals, and the Hawkeyes had 18 turnovers on the game. However, Penn State's struggles defending the perimeter continued, as Iowa connected on nine 3-pointers.
Pringle said the team remains positive that the season can be turned around.
"I think we can still win games," Pringle said.