After dropping a heartbreaker at the end of the game at Purdue two weeks ago, the Penn State Nittany Lions were out for revenge today at home. In the first meeting, the Nittany Lions were plagued by mistakes in the final seconds that cost them the game. Today was a much different story, as Penn State was in control for much of the game and ultimately defeated the Boilermakers 79-68.
The Nittany Lions took a 34-29 lead into halftime. At one point in the first half, Penn State went up by 10 and had the Bryce Jordan Center on its feet, but then went through a scoreless stretch of nearly five minutes. Nobody dominated the first half for Penn State, as it was a team effort. Guard D.J. Newbill lead the team with 9 points, while fellow guard Tim Frazier and forward Ross Travis each added six.
Penn State started slow, perhaps due to the unusual 11:30 a.m. tip-off, trailing for the first part of the contest. However, the Lions tied the game with just over 11 minutes to go before halftime and never looked back. Purdue got as close as two points, but could never overtake the Nittany Lions, who have now won their last three conference games.
That last time these two teams met, Purdue dominated the glass, outrebounding the Nittany Lions 44-33. Penn State came out in this one with a much better game plan and kept the battle on the glass much closer, winning it 38-30.
The Nittany Lions didn’t shoot very well in this one, hitting just 41 percent from the floor and 77 percent from the charity stripe. However they protected the basketball, winning the turnover margin and did enough to come out victorious.
Newbill, the hero in the overtime victory at Ohio State, followed up that game with another strong performance. He led the Nittany Lions with 19 points. Frazier, his partner in the talented backcourt, added 18 points. Brandon Taylor played a strong game, putting up 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Purdue was led by its dominant big man, seven-footer A.J. Hammons. The talented center scored 18 points and pulled down 12 boards.
After dropping their first six Big Ten games, the Nittany Lions have now won their last three. They will look to keep it going in a tough road matchup on Thursday when they visit Michigan State.
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