Ace Baldwin Jr.'s hot finish sends Penn State over Iowa 89-79 for third straight win

Penn State's Kanye Clary (0) attempts to knock the ball away from Iowa's Tony Perkins (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Gary M. Baranec)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) — Ace Baldwin Jr. scored 13 of Penn State’s final 18 points and finished with 22 in an 89-79 victory over Iowa on Thursday night for the Nittany Lions’ third straight win.

Baldwin hit a 3-pointer to give Penn State (12-11, 6-6 Big Ten) its final lead. Qudus Wahab followed with a bucket then Baldwin scored the next eight points, capping his run with a 3-pointer for an 11-point lead — the largest of the game — with 43 seconds remaining.

Baldwin scored 18 second-half points and finished with three 3-pointers and six assists. He was 9 for 9 at the foul line. Wahab had 14 points and seven rebounds. Zach Hicks made a trio of 3-pointers and scored 14. D’Marco Dunn added 12 points. Penn State shot 52%, hit 12 of 23 from the arc and 25 of 31 free throws.

Ben Krikke, averaging nearly 15 points a game but with just 26 total in his previous four, hit 10 of 18 shots in scoring 22 points to lead the Hawkeyes (13-10, 5-7). Patrick McCaffery added 11 points as did Tony Perkins, who contributed eight assists but had a streak of five straight 20-point games end. Iowa shot 56% but was only 4 of 15 from 3-point range while committing 18 turnovers. The Hawkeyes shot 21 fewer free throws than Penn State, making 9 of 10.

Jameel Brown hit a pair of 3-pointers in a 19-6 run over nine minutes that put Penn State up by 10 late in the first half and the Nittany Lions led 42-34 at halftime.

Iowa is host to Minnesota and Penn State plays at Northwestern in Sunday games.

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