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Purdue 76, Penn State 64: Boilers Complete The Sweep

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Poor 3-point shooting and foul troubles spelled doom for the Nittany Lions.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Things started out quite well for the Nittany Lions as Myles Dread hit back-to-back threes and Lamar Stevens followed that up with a bucket of his own, forcing Purdue head coach Matt Painter to call a timeout just a few minutes in with his team already facing a 8-0 hole. Purdue would gradually claw their way back, while PSU would attempt to keep them at bay with a press and timely treys from Rasir Bolton and buckets from Lamar. Purdue however, would eventually reclaim the lead in the final five minutes of the half, thanks to some hot three-point shooting from Sasha Stefanovic and Grady Eifert, taking a 33-30 lead to the locker room.

The second half saw Purdue push their lead well into double digits, leading by as many as 17 points, thanks to Edwards heating up from downtown and Penn State going ice-cold from beyond the arc. The Nittany Lions did keep things from getting too far out of hand, thanks to forcing a season-high 23 turnovers, and at one point had the deficit whittled down to just five points, thanks to a six-minute Purdue scoring drought.

It wasn’t enough though, as Purdue would wake up late in the game and foul trouble began to doom the Lions, as John Harrar and Mike Watkins both fouled out with several minutes still remaining, and Lamar found himself benched at one point with four fouls. When it was all said and done, Purdue had completed their season sweep of Pat Chambers’ crew.

Four Factors Analysis

As you can see, Purdue shot the ball way more efficiently, as they shot 52% to PSU’s 38% and more importantly, were 9-of-16 from 3-point range, while PSU struggled at 5-for-24. They also got to the line more frequently and did a good job with their free throw opportunities, going 23-for-28. This probably helps explain why Purdue still won by double digits despite turning it over 23 times.

Player Of The Game

Myles started off hot, but it was Lamar and Ra who led the way in scoring for the Nittany Lions. Unfortunately, foul trouble for PSU’s post players hurt their ability to make this game more nerve-wracking for Purdue fans towards the end of the game.

Random Observations

Foul Troubles - Harrar and Watkins both had relatively quiet games, especially Watkins, who went scoreless while grabbing only three rebounds. Both big men fouled out with several minutes still remaining in the game, leaving PSU in a real bind. Had either of them stayed out of foul trouble, it’s possible that one them could have had a bigger scoring/rebounding presence to allow PSU to take advantage during Purdue’s scoring drought late in the second half.

Three-Point Shooting (or lack thereof) - It started off promising with Myles nailing back-to-back treys, but PSU would go a paltry 3-for-22 from downtown for the remainder of the game. That is simply not going to get it done in Big Ten play.

Up Next

Penn State hosts Nebraska in a revenge game on Tuesday night at the BJC. Tip-off is at 7:00 PM ET on FS1.