The crowd rose to its feet as Jermaine Marshall drove the lane in an attempt to tie it up against Iowa with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game.
The buzz among the crowd rose to a roar as the guard attempted to finish a tough lay-in, only to be rejected by a defender to dramatically decrease Penn State’s chances of pulling off its first Big Ten win.
Despite the electric atmosphere at the Bryce Jordan Center last night, the Nittany Lions once again came up empty in their 74-72 loss to Iowa. D.J. Newbill put forth one of his best efforts of the season with 26 points, but the Hawkeyes executed down the stretch thanks to several major stops and successful free throw attempts.
There were 7,636 fans in attendance, and the BJC saw an unusually large amount of students on the night before the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. Coach Patrick Chambers pledged to donate $10 for each student in attendance for the game earlier this week.
After the game, Chambers said it was a great home-court advantage for his team, but the loss still stings all the same.
“Students were great. Fans were great. That’s the loudest I’ve ever heard that place,” Chambers said. “It’s unfortunate we didn’t come out with a win, but the atmosphere was definitely amazing.”
The Lions offered one of their best offensive performances of the season, tying their Big Ten season-high point total on 44 percent shooting from the field.
However, they failed to take advantage of this performance due in large part to the Hawkeyes’ ability to close the game at the free throw line.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said making 20-of-26 free throws — led by Roy Devyn Marble, who was 9-of-11 from the line and finished with 22 points — in addition to crucial defensive stops allowed the Hawkeyes to reign victorious.
“We didn’t play perfectly down the stretch,” McCaffery said. “But we made enough free throws, made enough plays, enough stops plays to beat a team who’s going to fight you like no other team.”
Newbill said that despite the continued frustration of losing for the Lions, there are still many positives to take from the game.
“I think our intensity [was there]. We should take that moving forward every game,” Newbill said. “We competed for 40 minutes and that’s something that coach has been preaching to us.”