Feb. 14, 2014
By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Nittany Lions will keep coming, so University of Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery says the Hawkeyes will need to go out and beat the Nittany Lions on Saturday in Happy Valley.
Penn State enters the Saturday afternoon matchup with a 13-12 overall and 4-8 Big Ten record after rallying for a 66-65 victory at Indiana on Feb. 12. The Nittany Lions trailed 64-53 with 3:19 remaining before closing the game on a 13-1 run to stun the Hoosiers in Assembly Hall.
"It's the second time they have done that," McCaffery said Friday on a media teleconference. "They were down 10 against Ohio State, too. There is no quit. They're going to keep coming.
"They're the epitome of a team you've got to beat, and they are not going to make many mistakes that you're going to back into a win against them... you have to beat them."
UI head coach Fran McCaffery on Penn State
"You'll see games where they get down 10-12 points and the next thing you see, they're up three. They're not going away. They're the epitome of a team you've got to beat, and they are not going to make many mistakes that you're going to back into a win against them... you have to beat them."
The Hawkeyes will have to contend with Penn State's two-headed monster in guards D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier. The pair combines to average 33 points per contest -- 45 percent of the team's scoring -- and they're the engines that make the Nittany Lions go.
"They both do everything," said McCaffery. "Either one can bring it down, play with ball screens, come off screens, lead the break, and guard different-sized players. That's what makes them so difficult; they're weapons every time they have the ball in their hand."
Newbill is averaging a team-best 17.2 points on 46.7 percent shooting, while Frazier adds 16.1 points and 5.96 assists per game. Last season in a pair of Iowa victories, Newbill went for 20 and 26 points, making 18-of-37 shots from the floor; Frazier missed the year with an Achilles injury.
"(Newbill's) percentages this year are like he shot it against us last year," said McCaffery. "Last year was good for him because when Frazier got hurt they put the ball in his hands and he had to do so much to carry that team. Now he's doing a lot of the same things, but he doesn't have to do it as much because he has a lot more help."
The Hawkeyes will be shooting for road win No. 4 at Penn State, which would surpass their total from last season. McCaffery says experience is the main factor in the team being able to turn its fortunes.
"We've been through it before," he said. "We were close last year a number of times. You learn from it, you get more guys playing well and more guys with experience. If you're going to win on the road in this league, it's going to take guys that have been through it."
Iowa has won five of the last seven meetings in the series with the two setbacks coming in University Park. The Hawkeyes hold a 25-13 advantage all-time in the series.
Saturday's game is scheduled to begin at 12:05 p.m. (CT) from the Bryce Jordan Center. The game will be televised on ESPNU with Mike Couzens and Darrin Horn on the call.