Penn State had to know it would be tough to win in Mackey Arena on senior night, but for a minute there it looked like a possibility. The Lions trailed just 37-32 going into halftime, but Purdue rolled off the first 11 points of the second half and never looked back on their way to a 80-56 romp.
As has been the usual this season, Purdue was led in scoring by none other than super senior Robbie Hummel. The versatile playmaker shot 8 of 16 from the field and scored 26 points to go with 8 rebounds and a season high-matching 6 assists. The dude has been on an unbelievable run as of late and it’s admirable the way he is carrying the Boilers into the postseason despite the loss of Kelsey Barlow to suspension. Still, it hurts to see Hummel destroy Penn State like this. I felt a little better about it when he gave his grandparents a shout out after the game. They have been to every home game of his for the past five years.
“In the last half of conference play, Robbie Hummel’s been one of the best players in our league,” said Purdue coach Matt Painter. He may be playing like the best period right now.
It was Tim Frazier who kept Penn State in the game for the first 20 minutes. Frazier was hitting on his entire arsenal with runners, pull-ups and even a three-pointer all going in. Of Penn State’s 32 first half points, Frazier scored or assisted on 25 of them. It would be a shame if he wasn’t considered a first-team Big Ten player this season.
In the second half, Frazier naturally regressed and could not continue to connect on every single attempt. It wasn’t long before Penn State was completely out of the game. Still, Frazier finished with 24 points, 5 rebounds and the 6 dimes he needed to tie Talor Battle’s single season PSU assist record of 189.
The only other player in double figures for PSU was Jermaine Marshall, who scored 10, but was 3 of 10 from the field after a run of relatively efficient games.
Jon Graham and Ross Travis could not continue their streaks of improved play. Graham recorded 3 fouls in just 13 minutes and was 2 of 2 from the field for 4 points and zero rebounds. Travis fouled out in only 23 minutes and was 0 for 1 from the field with 2 rebounds. Not a progressive day at all for either of these two. Instead, Sasa Borovnjak picked up the slack with a 4 for 5 night for 8 points in 22 minutes. I’m guessing I will have to wait until next season for Sasa to actually get the ball as much as he deserves it.
During the Wednesday morning shoot-around, Cam Woodyard suffered a fracture in his right foot and PSU learned they would be missing him for the remainder of the season. Woodyard as well as Billy Oliver will be honored on PSU’s senior night on Sunday versus Michigan.
Woodyard’s loss was perhaps balanced out by the fact that freshman Trey Lewis finally returned from his back injury. Lewis was not spectacular, but it was promising to see him go 3 of 8 from the field for 8 points in only 19 minutes. The hard-working Nick Collela continued to shoot poorly in this game (0 for 4 in 17 minutes), so that should open up Lewis for a starting spot in the backcourt next season beside Frazier and Marshall.
On defense, Penn State could not contain the Purdue three-point attack, which has been red hot as of late. The Boilers rippled the nets for 9 of 22 shooting from beyond the arc. D.J. Byrd himself was 3 of 7 from back there are finished with 14 points. Ryne Smith dropped in 3 of 6 for 9 points. Attacking on the inside was point guard Lewis Jackson, who hit on all 6 of his field goal attempts to score 12 points and 5 assists. Slasher Terone Johnson added 13 points and 5 rebounds for the Boilers.