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Feb 7, 2024 8:39 pm

Penn State returns home with confidence, faces Iowa

penn state basketball

Fresh off a successful road trip, Penn State returns home to face Iowa on Thursday in Big Ten action at University Park, Pa.

The Nittany Lions (11-11, 5-6 Big Ten) are coming off back-to-back road victories against Rutgers, 61-46, and Indiana, 85-71. They have not won three games in a row since opening the campaign with four consecutive victories.

In the win over the Hoosiers, Penn State continued to play without leading scorer Kanye Clary, who was averaging 18.4 points before suffering an undisclosed injury on Jan. 27. In his absence, several Nittany Lions have stepped up, including D’Marco Dunn, who has scored 24 points over the past two games following a five-game stretch in which he totaled 22 points.

“(Dunn) is showing flashes of it, and you saw that in these last two games in the starting lineup. So, really proud of him,” Penn State coach Mike Rhoades said. “I just keep saying, ‘Just keep learning. Keep working on your game. Keep learning. Keep listening. And then go play basketball because you’re good at it.’ ”

Ace Baldwin Jr., who scored a team-high 22 points against Indiana, Zach Hicks (19 points) and Qudus Wahab (14 points on 7-of-8 shooting) will be counted on for offensive production, as well.

Perhaps they’ll find continued success against the Hawkeyes (13-9, 5-6), who are allowing 77.2 points per game. They landed right on that figure in Friday’s 79-77 win over Ohio State.

Fortunately for Iowa, Tony Perkins (20 points) was cooking offensively against the Buckeyes, while Josh Dix and Payton Sandfort provided complementary scoring with 15 points apiece.

“It doesn’t matter how you get wins, it just matters that you get ’em,” Hawkeyes forward Patrick McCaffery said. “So I think there’s stuff we need to work on, absolutely. Every team is still working on things. So there’s stuff we need to get corrected. But it’s a lot easier to correct things when you win than if you lose.”

The home team has won the past six regular-season meetings between the squads. Penn State captured last season’s matchup, 83-79.

–Field Level Media

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