clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Hangover: Purdue 77, Penn State 52

The Lions were stymied all afternoon by Caleb Swanigan and the Boilermakers.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Purdue Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the beatdown suffered by Penn State at the hands of a highly talented and vertically-advantaged Purdue squad would’ve happened, regardless whether they were coming off a heartbreaker of a loss to Indiana just a few short days ago. However, considering the hangover this PSU squad was likely still nursing coming into this game, it wasn’t surprising to see Purdue jump to an early 18-4 lead, which PSU to their credit, did whittle down to a deficit as small as five points before the Boilermakers turned up the heat and raced to a 41-23 halftime lead, which they would never come close to relinquishing in the second half.

Caleb Swanigan, one of the best frontcourt players in all of college basketball (let alone the Big Ten) had his way with the Nittany Lions all afternoon long to the tune of 19 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and a block. Carsen Edwards and Dakota Mattias also hit double figures scoring for Purdue with 13 and 10, each thanks to some solid three-point shooting from both. Once again, ugly shooting (31% from the floor) doomed the Lions, although you can definitely credit some of that to solid defense played by the Boilers. Josh Reaves was the only Nittany Lion to reach double figures scoring with 12 points, all of them coming on three-pointers (Reaves was an uncanny 4-for-6 from downtown), while Payton Banks added nine points himself.

Four Factors

Team Total Possessions PPP eFG% OReb% TO% FT Rate
Team Total Possessions PPP eFG% OReb% TO% FT Rate
Penn State 71 1.07 50.0% 35.5% 19.7% 47.3%
Nebraska - 0.94 39.5% 34.0% 11.3% 13.2%

The PPP, efficient FG%, and FT rate say it all. Penn State took eleven more shots than Purdue, but only hit on 20 of their 64 attempts (good for 31% from the floor), while Purdue nailed 30 of its 53 attempts (57% from the floor). Also, Purdue got to the line 15 times to PSU’s six trips. Not exactly a recipe for success if you’re the heavy underdog.

Player of the Game - Josh Reaves (12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals)

Mr. Reaves once again stepped up to the plate, nailing four three-pointers en route to once again leading PSU in scoring. Combined with his athleticism and defensive tenacity, he can become a more polished weapon for PSU if he continue to build on shooting performances like today’s.

Random Observations

  • Mike Watkins swatted a few shots, but had a rather pedestrian six points and three rebounds on the afternoon. If this PSU team is going to have any chance at shocking the Purdues of the Big Ten, they will need him to have double-double (or near double-double) performances
  • As I’ve stated before, today’s result was not unexpected. Purdue will be challenging for a Big Ten title while PSU will be trying to keep up with the middle of the pack. As with any young team, there will be ups and downs and today was one of the latter. Still, this team is capable of pulling off an additional win or two against some of the blue bloods (they already got one against Michigan State) if things fall in the right place. It’s only January, folks.

Up Next

The Nittany Lions (11-9, 3-4) face another stiff test when they take on #17 Wisconsin Tuesday night in Madison. Tip-off is at 9:00 PM ET on BTN.