Philadelphia: A big game feel came to the Cathedral of College Basketball, The Palestra on the campus of University of Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon as the Penn State Nittany Lions took on the Iowa Hawkeyes in Big Ten Conference game.
Penn State entered the game at 11-2 on the season & ranked Number 21 in the nation while Iowa comes to Philadelphia at 10-3 & ranked number 23.
This is the second time that Penn State has moved a Big Ten Conference game from State College to the Palestra, the first time was in 2017 when the Nittany Lions took on Michigan State and Penn State won that game 72-63.
This game has a lot of Philadelphia connections, both Penn State coach Patrick Chambers and Iowa coach Fran McCaffery are from the Philadelphia area.
Chambers played at Philadelphia Univ. for coach Herb Magee and McCaffery played at Penn.
Six players on the Penn State roster are from the Philly Area:
Izaiah Brockington, played at Archibishop Ryan
John Harrar, played at Strath Haven
Seth Lundy, Played at Roman Catholic
Kyle McCloskey, played at Germantown Academy
Lamar Stevens, played at Roman Catholic
Mike Watkins, The Phelps School
On Janaury 3, Penn State announced that the game was SOLD OUT
How the game went:
In the first half, both teams got off to a slow start and defense would be the story early on. Iowa had two separate leads of 4 while Penn State had two separate leads of 8 points. The Nittany Lions took 39-38 lead at halftime, making the crowd at the Palestra, which was a Pro Penn State Crowd, roar. Lamar Stevens lead Penn State with 11 points & Luka Garza put in 15 for Iowa in the first half.
During the second half, Iowa started to make things difficult for Penn State as they just did not have an answer for Luka Garza. The Hawkeyes had a 7 point lead at 68-61 with 9:30 left, but the Nittany Lionsretook the lead with 2:33 left on Lamar Stevens basket for 79-78 lead. Penn State would keep the pressure on the Hawkeyes and this game came down the stretch. The Crowd of 7,88 saw the Nittany Lions take down the Hawkeyes 89-86.
Iowa was lead by Luka Garza who put up 34 points, 12 rebounds while Izaiah Brockington dropped 23 points for the Nittany Lions.
What is next:
Penn State will take on Rutgers on January 7 while Iowa does battle with Nebraska also on Janaury 7.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports