The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa men’s basketball falls to Penn State after giving up second half lead

The Hawkeyes turned the ball over 18 times and allowed the Nittany Lions to shoot over 50 percent from the floor.
Carly Schrum
Iowa Forward Owen Freeman goes up for a layup during a men’s basketball game between No. 2 Purdue and Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024. The Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes, 84-70. Freeman had 6 points and 4 fouls during the game.

The Iowa men’s basketball team fell on the road to Penn State, 89-79, marking the third consecutive defeat in State College. The Hawkeyes had a seven-point lead in the second half but turned the ball over 18 times and allowed the Nittany Lions to shoot 60 percent from three-point range. 

Ben Krikke led the team in scoring with 22 points and five rebounds, while Tony Perkins chipped in 11 points and four boards.

Penn State started hot to grab a 5-0 lead, but Iowa responded with a quick 10-2 run aided by three-point plays from Josh Dix and Krikke. From there, the Hawkeyes turned a few Nittany Lion turnovers into points, and the Iowa lead quickly blossomed to seven. But, Penn State seemed to have an answer for each Hawkeye basket and made four threes to stay within striking distance. 

Star first-year Owen Freeman picked up his second foul of the contest with over 12 minutes to go in the half, forcing Iowa to dig into its bench. The Nittany Lions took advantage and went on a 12-2 run to take a 27-21 lead with just over six minutes to play in the half. The Hawkeyes ended a field goal drought of over six minutes with a Patrick McCaffery layup, but the offense continued to struggle despite some open looks from distance. 

After Penn State took its largest lead of the game, Iowa responded with a few buckets in transition off of some turnovers but began to get careless with it themselves and lost the chance to grab any momentum. After a Payton Sandfort three spun out, the Hawkeyes committed a foul with less than a second to go, and Penn State knocked down a free throw to take a 42-34 lead at halftime. 

Iowa got off to a quick start in the second half and began to switch its game to the post, as Freeman and Krikke added a few buckets to trim the deficit to four heading into the media timeout. After Sandfort left with an injury, his younger brother Pryce tied the game at 46 with a nifty floater. After a pair of Nittany Lion free-throws, Freeman went coast-to-coast and gave the Hawkeyes the lead with a three-point play. Both teams continued to trade baskets, and the game remained tied, 53-53.

After a timeout, Iowa seized some momentum behind tough buckets from Krikke. A transition three ball from the younger Sandfort gave the Hawks their largest lead of the game with under 10 minutes to go. But, Penn State went on an 8-0 run behind a pair of three balls and took the lead back. 

The Nittany Lions began to heat up from behind the arc, but Iowa continued to answer on the other end, and Krikke continued his stellar performance with a layup to draw the Hawks within one.

Penn State forced more Iowa mistakes and took an eight-point lead late in the game to defend its home court. 

Up next 

Iowa returns to action on Super Bowl Sunday against a red-hot Minnesota Golden Gophers team, who are 15-7 on the season. The Gophers are coming off a 59-56 win against Michigan State on Feb 6. 

Forward Dawson Garcia leads Minnesota with 17.3 points per game. 

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About the Contributors
Brad Schultz, Sports Reporter
Brad Schultz is a sophomore at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Sports Studies. This is first year working as a sports reporter and he has a deep passion and love for sports. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Brad is a contributor for Saturday Blitz, a college football site, with his content primarily covering Iowa and the Big Ten.
Carly Schrum, Photojournalist
Carly is a freshman majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication and potentially majoring in sustainability. She works at the Daily Iowan as a photojournalist.