Penn State and Purdue’s game in Bryce Jordan was the only Big Ten game on the docket on Friday night. Both teams were hoping to improve their postseason positioning with a win.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Purdue Boilermakers 73, Penn State Nittany Lions 52
While many didn’t believe Penn State had a shot at the NCAAs with a record well under .500, the team genuinely had a chance to make the cut. It was going to take a magical run to finish things out, but it was on the table. And there was little denying such a run would take a win over Purdue on Friday night.
Unfortunately for Nittany Lion fans, that win wouldn’t be in the cards as Purdue cruised to a 21-point road victory. The Boilermakers even got a chance to unload the bench in the closing minutes of the contest.
As one might expect from the above, this is the end of the line for Penn State’s at-large NCAA chances. There’s no reasonable route on the table to make the cut, meaning Penn State’s either missing the NCAA Tournament yet again, or needs to win the Big Ten Tournament. It’s a tough blow after performing so well last season.Penn State will hope to rebound with Minnesota at home on Wednesday.
For Purdue, the win pushes the team to 16-8 overall and 11-6 in Big Ten play. Sasha Stefanovic led the way with 16 points, three assists, and two rebounds. The team seems to be on a bit of a hot streak, having won three in a row, four of five, and 9 of the team’s last 12 games, including six road wins. Purdue still has a chance at a top four seed in the Big Ten Tournament if it finishes things out well. Those efforts will start with Wisconsin at home on Tuesday night.