Penn State Falls to Purdue in Shootout
Penn State fell to Purdue 99-90 in a hard fought battle that went to overtime.
Purdue star guard Carsen Edwards started off the game burning hot, with 15 points in the opening six minutes of the first half, and would finish as the game’s leading scorer with an electric 38 points.
The Boilermakers would stay hot the rest of the first half, and Penn State would trail by a wide margin until climbing back into the game with an 8-0 run late in the first half.
Penn State made a big adjustment in the half to avoid what early on had the makings of a blowout. Carsen Edwards looked as though he couldn’t miss in the opening minutes of the game, but Edwards only scored five points for the duration of the half after his initial scoring explosion.
Guard Ryan Cline picked up some of Edwards’ slack with 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
Purdue also found itself in some foul trouble, racking up 10 in the first half, and Penn State made 12 free throws to help get the game back to 50-44. Penn State would eventually total 41 free throw attempts for the game, making 30 of them, which a huge factor in pushing the game to overtime.
Offensive rebounds provided the Nittany Lions with some extra opportunities, grabbing 12 boards on the offensive glass and converting them into 18 second-chance points.
Penn State and Purdue battled hard at the end of the second half, as Edwards was able to get a layup to go tie the score at 85, and Rasir Bolton had his last-second shot blocked to send the matchup to overtime.
In possibly the best offensive performance of the season for the Nittany Lions, five players scored in double figures, a first in the 2018-2019 season. Penn State still fell short however, as Purdue was able to will itself to 14 overtime points to slam the door on this game.
Lamar Stevens led Penn State with 24 points, adding six rebounds and four assists. This came despite Stevens only making four field goals, instead earning a whopping 17 attempts from the free throw line.
Penn State big man Mike Watkins posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, putting him third all-time in Penn State history with 25.
Josh Reaves scored 11 points and six rebounds in an inspired performance. He and players like John Harrar and Rasir Bolton dove after multiple balls and fought for rebounds in traffic on the offensive glass that kept the Nittany Lions in a tough battle.
Penn State falls to 0-10 in the Big Ten, but Coach Patrick Chambers still saw positives in how his team played.
“I think we got better, and we continue to get better," Chambers said. "I know our record isn’t what we expect or where we wanted to be, but the kids are competing and they’re playing hard, and they’re showing up."
The tilt against Purdue served as the Coaches against Cancer game, and during a timeout in the first half, a fitting video tribute was played for Tyler Trent, the Purdue student who passed away on New Year’s Day after a long battle with cancer. Penn State student leaders, coaches and alumni were featured in the tribute saying “We are Tyler Strong.”
The Nittany Lions return to the hardwood on Monday, Feb. 4, as they visit Northwestern and continue to search for their first Big Ten win of the season.
Jeremy Ganes is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in Entrepreneurship. To contact him, email email@example.com.