Fresh off their impressive win against Michigan, Penn State Basketball looked to continue the momentum against #1 ranked Purdue. Winning at a sold-out Mackey Arena is never an easy task, but the task becomes nearly impossible when a bench player has a historic night against you.
Micah Shrewsberry started the game with Henn and Dorsey in the lineup, the same starting five that impressed against Michigan. Right off the bat Penn State Basketball was pulling out all the stops, starting with a ferocious 2-3 zone and denying Purdue star Zach Edey the ball. The defense worked, causing Purdue to miss their first six shots. Unfortunately, the Nittany Lions were unable to take advantage as the game was tied 11-11 at the first media timeout.
Penn State Basketball’s shooting woes continued for the rest of the first half as they trailed by double digits for the majority of the half. However, a 9-3 run to end the half brought the deficit to just six as Penn State trailed 29-35. Newcomer to the lineup Michael Henn led the way with 11 points in the first half. Penn State continued to sell out to deny Edey the ball, which left Purdue’s shooters open. Mason Gillis led the way for the Boilermakers with 12 points from four made 3-pointers.
Unfortunately for Penn State, the hot run to end the half did not continue after half time. Purdue used an early 14-2 run to push the lead back up to 16. Once again, it was Mason Gillis with three more 3-pointers before the media timeout. Ultimately, Purdue would extend the run to 21-2 before Penn State scored again.
The second half was not very competitive. Purdue led by 20-plus for most of the half. Penn State did show some signs of life during a quick 8-0 run, capped off by back-to-back Jalen Pickett threes, but Purdue was quick to call a timeout and get things back under control.
With roughly five minutes left in the contest, Gillis made his 9th three pointer, breaking a record for most threes in a game inside the Mackey Arena. Shrewsberry’s game plan to leave him open in order to double Edey did not pay off. Purdue would eventually make a team season-high 14 three pointers in the game.
There weren’t many positives for Penn State Basketball in the second half as they eventually lost by a final score of 80-60. This is the second straight road loss by 20 points for the Nittany Lions as the road struggles that have plagued the team all season continue.
Penn State has another road testing awaiting them, as they travel to Nebraska on Sunday for a game at 4:30 EST. The toughest stretch of the schedule is over, and Penn State will now need to start stacking wins in order to make the NCAA tournament.