In tonight’s only game the Boilermakers traveled to Penn State for what turned out to be an entertaining two and a half hours of basketball.
Game of the Night
#17 Purdue Boilermakers 99, Penn State Nittany Lions 90
At one point it looked like the Boilermakers were going to roll past Penn State with relative ease, opening up a 37-20 in less than 12 minutes of action. Penn State fought back valiantly and outscored Purdue the rest of the half 24-13, cutting the deficit to six. It could have also been closer if not for an Aaron Wheeler three banked in at the buzzer.
In the second half the game followed a pattern of Purdue opening up a couple possession lead before Penn State would narrow the gap, only for Purdue to reopen a lead in response every time. It wasn’t until the closing minutes that Penn State was finally able to keep the game close, tying it twice before taking a lead with 58 seconds remaining on a Rasir Bolton jumper. Penn State had a chance to ice the game after a Carsen Edwards miss, but ended up turning the ball over with 13 seconds remaining. Given a second opportunity Edwards made a layup to tie the game and Nojel Eastern added a nasty block in the closing seconds to send the game to overtime.
Overtime was not kind to the Nittany Lions.
In Purdue’s first three possessions they had two Trevion Williams layups and a Carsen Edwards four point play to quickly open up an eight point lead. Penn State then had a 54 second possession that ended with no points and wouldn’t make a field goal until 32 seconds remained. When everything was said and done Purdue held on for a 99-90 win.
Carsen Edwards once again went off for the Boilermakers with 38 points, including 8 of 15 from three. Ryan Cline added 20 points, hitting 6 of 7 from three, and Nojel Eastern made eight free throws and added 10 rebounds. Overall Purdue shot 55.2% from the field, 55.2% from three, 90.5% from the free throw line and only committed 10 turnovers.
So why was the game so close? Well Penn State held an 18-5 advantage on the offensive glass, helping Penn State with a 23-10 advantage in second chance points. Penn State also had a friendly 41-21 free throw advantage, which would have been greater if not for six late free throws from Nojel Eastern in the closing seconds. And while Penn State is currently shooting 61.2% from the free throw line during conference play, they hit a much improved 73.2% on the night.
Penn State also had a solid start from deep, hitting 8 of 15 from three in the first half. Their shooting from outside fell off down the stretch, though, going 4 of 14 the rest of the game and only shooting 39.3% from the field throughout the night.
While Penn State could have pulled off the upset, Purdue will likely be very happy they got the road win. Purdue hasn’t lost to Penn State since 2014, now winning the last eight matchups between the two schools, but they’ve needed overtime the last three times to win in State College.
Purdue will be back in action Sunday when they host Minnesota. Penn State will travel to Northwestern on Monday as they look to end their eight game losing streak.