While the loss of Robbie Hummel has been the focus of media outlets everywhere, Purdue made it clear tonight that the success of the previous seasons came not from a single player, but from the efforts of a deep talented, well coached team.
Led by Ryne Smith's 20 points and 5-5 shooting from behind the arc, Purdue used a strong second half start to pull ahead of the Nittany Lions extending their 4 point halftime lead, controlling the glass, and never letting Penn State regain the lead despite a strong efforts by the Nittany Lions to keep the game in reach. E'Twaun Moore struggled to find any rhythm scoring only 4 points all game, but a strong showing by the Purdue role players made up for a surprisingly cold night for one of the best players in the Big Ten. Lewis Jackson's 17 points and JaJuan Johnson's 15 point, 15 rebound night helped fuel the Boilermaker offense that has now won 33 straight games when scoring 70 or more points.
The Boilermakers found their stroke early on in the game, and a weak defensive effort by the Nittany Lions prevented Penn State from ever seriously threatening Purdue's lead. That being said Purdue wasn't with it's own struggles connecting on only 61% of their free throws at a total of 25-41, a number that could come back to haunt them in a closer contest.
While Penn State fell short tonight it wasn't without a few surprises in the box score with Jermaine Marshall scoring a career high 18 points behind 6-10 shooting as well as the usual suspects Jeff Brooks contributing 15 points as well as Talor Battle who kept his lead in the Big Ten scoring title with 18 points. Battle struggled mightly throughtout the game but managed to find his groove late in the game.
In the Big Ten standings Purdue moves to 3-0 looking ahead to a weekend matchup against Iowa next, while Penn State falls to 1-2 with a big home game against Michigan State next on the schedule. Both teams will meet again in two weeks in West Lafayette.