Game Preview: Penn State at No.12 Purdue
After an electric upset over Michigan, Penn State hits the road to face another top ranked Big Ten opponent. Host David Hadar, along with Jeremy Ganes, Matt McClure and Kevin McConlogue discuss what it will take for the Nittany Lions to head into this next game ready:
Penn State students rushed the court on Tuesday night, as the Nittany Lions stunned the No.6 Michigan in the Bryce Jordan Center by a score of 75-69. It was their first win against Michigan since 2013.
Penn State junior forward Lamar Stevens led all scorers with 26 points, tacking on 12 rebounds. The Nittany Lions also got 17 points from freshman guard Myles Dread. The win improved their record to 9-15 (2-11)
Now, Penn State will look to carry some momentum into Mackey Arena when they face off against No.12 Purdue on Saturday.
The last time these teams met, Purdue snuck away with an 99-90 overtime victory in what was at the time arguably Penn State’s best offensive performance of the season.
Stevens continues to lead the Nittany Lions with 19.2 points per game. He has 13 games this season with 20-plus points and is second in the Big Ten in scoring.
Penn State has recently continued to enjoy the success of freshman guard Rasir Bolton, who scored 13 points on Tuesday. It was his fifth straight game in double figure scoring.
The Nittany Lions’ defensive effort against the Wolverines was perhaps the best they have shown this season. They were able to hold Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis to only six points, and consistently held the Wolverines from shooting until late in the shot clock. They forced 12 turnovers off of seven steals and added three blocks.
Pat Chamber’s defense will need to have a repeat showing to upset the Boilermakers on the road.
Purdue enters the contest with a 17-7 (10-3) record. They are coming off of an upset loss vs No. 24 Maryland by a score of 70-56. The Boilermakers were outscored 40-18 in the second half of the contest, snapping an eight-game win streak.
Purdue is led by the Big Ten’s leading scorer Carsen Edwards, who is averaging 24.6 points per game. The junior guard scored 38 points in the last matchup against the Nittany Lions. The Boilermakers also find production from senior guard Ryan Cline, who is averaging 12.6 points per game.
Expect Purdue to run their offense through Edwards, who has lethal range behind the arc. They also capitalize off of sophomore center Matt Haarms. Haarms, who stands at 7 feet 3 inches tall, averages 1.8 blocks per game and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Last time out Penn State had no answers for the Boilermaker guards. They will need to utilize the double team to keep Edwards in check and up the intensity. Chambers will have senior guard Josh Reaves and sophomore guard Jamari Wheeler to work on Edwards and Cline.
Offensively, the Nittany Lions have a serious weapon in Stevens. Often times Stevens can be found posting up and working his way into the basket before converting on the mid-range shot.
Penn State should have Stevens establish this early. Stevens scored 24 points in the last Purdue game, with 14 coming from the free throw line. If Stevens can draw defenders in underneath, it will continue to open shots for the Nittany Lions around the perimeter.
Most importantly, Penn State must convert from the free throw line. The Nittany Lions have shot 67.5 percent from the charity stripe this season. Their 11 missed free throws made the difference in the nine-point overtime loss in their last matchup against Purdue. Capitalizing on these opportunities will be crucial this time around.
Penn State and Purdue will square off on Saturday at 4 p.m. on the Big Ten Network. Purdue is an undefeated 12-0 at home this season, while Penn State is 2-7 on the road.
Preston Shoemaker is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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