The Lions fell behind early in this game off of 33% first half shooting. Good defense and 10 points from Mike Walker kept the Lions in the game as they went into halftime trailing 34-22.
In the second half Danny Morrissey got the hot hand draining 6-of-7 three point shots in the game. He finished as the Lions leading scorer with 21 points. The Lions rallied on their hot shooting to pull within two points with a little over 1:30 to go. But then the shooters went cold and Purdue hit their foul shots to win by a 64-60 final.
Breaking It Down
On paper the Lions didn't have that bad of a game. They out-rebounded the Boilermakers 33-24 including 10-5 on the offensive board. They took eight more shots than Purdue (53-45) and shot a higher percentage (45% to 44%). They hit more threes (10 to 8) and held their own in turnovers with Purdue having an 11-14 advantage. So how did the Lions lose? You would think if you shoot more than your opponent and sink a higher percentage of your shots you're going to win. The answer lies at the free throw line. Purdue had 23 attempts from the charity stripe while the Lions only had 7. To make things worse, Penn State only sank two of their free throw attempts. Ballgame. Perhaps a little home town officiating? Wouldn't be the first time.
But don't get me wrong. The Lions didn't do the things they needed to do to win. The frontcourt had a bad shooting game. Cornley had seven points and Claxton had eight. But the pair did pull down 21 rebounds including 14 from Claxton. If not for Morrissey's hot hand this game would have been really ugly.
The Lions are 0-3 in road games this year. It's clear the Lions don't know how to win outside of the Jordan Center yet. With seven Big Ten road games to go they better ask somebody.
The Lions get some time off before they host the Indiana Hoosiers next Saturday. The Hoosiers are 9-4 (0-1 Big Ten) with close losses to Kentucky, Duke, and Ohio State. They will play Michigan State and Purdue between now and next Saturday.