STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A slow trickle of bodies turned into a swarm and Donovon Jack disappeared as fans rushed Penn State’s bench after the Nittany Lions surprised No. 4 Iowa on Wednesday night.
It was another slick move by the senior forward.
Jack scored 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting, leading the Nittany Lions to a 79-75 victory over the Hawkeyes.
Penn State (13-13, 4-9 Big Ten) had lost five of six, but Shep Garner and Brandon Taylor had 18 points apiece in the school’s second victory over a Top 25 team in two weeks. The Nittany Lions also beat No. 22 Indiana 68-63 on Feb. 6.
"I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, (Taylor) and Shep passing me the ball," Jack said. "It was all I could hope for. A big win for us."
Garner made four of the Nittany Lions’ 10 3-pointers. Taylor also had nine rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot.
Peter Jok scored 28 points for Iowa (20-6, 11-3), and Jarrod Uthoff had 19. Adam Woodbury grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Hawkeyes beat the Nittany Lions 73-49 on Feb. 3 and it looked as if they might be headed for another big win when they scored the first eight points and stayed ahead for the first 13:46.
But Garner eventually got going and Isaiah Washington put Penn State ahead for good with a 3-pointer midway through the first half. A Jack dunk gave Penn State a 38-31 lead at the break.
"You give a team 10 3s, and to their credit they moved the ball, they shot it with confidence and executed well. That’s going to open things up," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.
The Hawkeyes stayed close in the second half, but Taylor hit a jumper to put the Nittany Lions up 67-60 with 1:36 remaining.
Although the Nittany Lions cooled off as the game wore on, coach Patrick Chambers noticed marked improvement from a 1-of-20 3-point effort in the previous loss to the Hawkeyes. Penn State went 10 for 28 from beyond the arc in the win.
"I felt like we were trying to burn the clock a little bit and I know it was getting a little nerve-wracking," Chambers said. "We wanted our guys to have the freedom to make plays."
The Hawkeyes pulled within three on Jok’s fourth 3-pointer in the final seconds, but the Nittany Lions held on at the line. They made 12 of 14 free-throw attempts over the final 1:25.
Penn State was without guard Devin Foster, who was home celebrating the birth of a child.
Josh Reaves, who had missed six of the team’s last eight games with mononucleosis, helped replace Foster by playing 27 minutes. Reaves led the team with four assists and three steals.
"I felt like now is the time to unleash him a little bit," Chambers said. "I think he did some great things."
Iowa: The Hawkeyes went 25 for 35 at the free-throw line, compared to 17 for 22 for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State: Washington was 1 for 7 from the field, but went 6 for 6 at the line and finished with nine points.