After snapping a four-game losing skid with a revenge victory at Nebraska, Penn State returned to the friendly quiet confines of the Bryce Jordan Center to host a Purdue team that oddly enough, Vegas favored PSU by 1.5 points over.
Whoever is setting the odds for these PSU games out in Vegas needs to quit drinking on the job. While the Lions did make it competitive for a while, thanks in large part to some solid three-point shooting by Myles Dread, the Boilermakers were able to rip off a pair of huge runs to push their lead into double digits. The first time they did so, PSU was able to rip off an 8-0 run of their own to cut the deficit to 24-21.
That was the closet PSU would ever get again though, as Purdue took full advantage of the interior to get some big-time buckets from Sasha Stefanovic (Sasha would finish the game with 16 points to lead all scorers) and ultimately push their lead to 41-26 at the half. The second half saw more of the same as Purdue continued to hit the high-percentage shots while PSU could hardly buy a bucket. Ultimately, leading to a comfortable evening for Matt Painter’s crew and easily the most lopsided loss of the season for PSU.
The first two columns on the Four Factors chart tell it all. Purdue shot exactly 50 percent from the floor while PSU struggled most of the night, ending up shooting only 36 percent. The Boilers also had 17 trips to the line, making 12 of their free throws, while PSU only had eight trips to the charity stripe and pathetically made only two of their free throws.
Player of the Game
While Myles did a fine job early on shooting the three-ball, it was Jamari Wheeler who was quite literally, jack-of-all-trades tonight. Jamari racked up nine points, six rebounds, six assists, and four steals. For that, he is your BSD MVP.
- Let’s Get Weird - How bored was Steve Lavin doing the color analysis on this game? At one point, he was speculating whether Rocky Balboa would’ve ever visited State College for training. Perhaps I could picture him running up to the top of Mount Nittany before looking out upon the entire town of State College and yelling “Yo Adrian, I did it!”
- The Young’uns Getting Involved - True freshmen guards Dallion Johnson and Caleb Dorsey saw action in garbage time. Both players got their first collegiate points, including a trey from Dorsey. We’ll see if they stick around to play under whoever the permanent head coach is.
- Some Good News - There’s only three more games left (maybe four, tops) before the real fun begins. By “fun” of course, I mean seeing the team’s best players hit the transfer portal while the Athletic Department fumbles their way towards hiring a guy who is ill-equipped to win and recruit at the Big Ten level. Eat at Arby’s.
Penn State (8-13, 5-11) hosts a flat-lining Minnesota team next Wednesday (March 3rd) in their home finale. Tipoff will be at 7:00 PM ET on BTN.