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No. 13 Penn State Basketball Outpaces Purdue for Seventh Consecutive Win

on February 11, 2020 9:01 PM

No. 13 Penn State men’s basketball (19-5, 9-4 Big Ten) survived a late push from Purdue on Tuesday night for an 88-76 road win over the Boilermakers (14-11, 7-7 Big Ten).

Three-point shooting was key for the Nittany Lions, who connected on a season-high 14 en route to the victory. Seth Lundy led the way with six threes worth 18 points for the visitors. Mike Watkins added his value in the paint as well, as the senior finished with a team-leading 19 points and 10 boards.

Penn State won its seventh consecutive game and snapped a 14-game skid at Purdue’s Mackey Arena, one of the toughest environments in the Big Ten.

How It Happened

Sophomore guard Myreon Jones, the Nittany Lions' No. 2 scorer, missed his second consecutive game due to illness, and Pat Chambers stayed with the same starting lineup that defeated Minnesota on Saturday.

Penn State started hot from downtown. A pair of Seth Lundy triples, along with one each from Lamar Stevens and Myles Dread, sprang the Nittany Lions to an early lead. Six of the eight shots Penn State took in the opening five minutes were from beyond the arc.

An Isaiah Thompson breakaway layup brought the score to 15-10. Oddly, both teams had made five field goals up to that point: Penn State all threes, Purdue with all twos.

Stevens picked up his second foul with nine minutes left in the opening half on a Trevion Williams shooting foul and the Nittany Lions’ star subsequently went to the bench for the rest of the half.

In Stevens' absence, however, the success from distance continued. Jamari Wheeler’s first of the night put the visitors up 25-14. The guard’s three was the seventh of the night, surpassing the six threes per game Purdue concedes on average — a mark good for second in the Big Ten.

While Penn State was sinking threes, Purdue maintained a steady scoring clip as well, led by Williams and Nojel Eastern. Harrisburg native Jahaad Proctor scored a midrange bucket following a Wheeler turnover to cut Penn State’s lead to 28-22, but Lundy’s fourth three of the night held the Boilermakers at bay.


Purdue seemed to be seizing momentum as the end of the first half neared, but a Mike Watkins and-one and a second Izaiah Brockington triple forced the Boilermakers to call timeout with under a minute left. Penn State went into the half hitting 14 field goals, 10 of which came from beyond the arc. The impressive shooting was enough for a 42-30 lead at the break for the visitors.

The beginning of the second half wasn’t kind to Harrar, who picked up fouls two and three in the first 70 seconds of the period. Harrar’s counterpart, Trevion Williams, went to the bench a minute later with his third. In the ensuing battle inside between Watkins and Matt Haarms, the Penn State big man hit a few quick baskets to extend the Nittany Lion lead. A 9-0 run from Penn State forced Purdue to call timeout with 16:10 remaining.

The home crowd had a glimpse of hope after Thompson made Purdue’s first three, but Stevens immediately responded on the other end. Penn State led at the under 12 break, 60-39.

Things began to get going for the Boilermakers after the break, as a quick 8-0 run from the home side forced Chambers to call time with 9:23 to play.

After trading buckets for most of the rest of the game, Purdue made it tight down the stretch. At 1:42, a Williams’ three cut the lead to 10 points. Stevens missed a jumper on the ensuing Lions possession, and a pair of Proctor free throws brought the scoreline to 79-71.

Brockington made a pivotal steal with 40 seconds on the clock to stop the bleeding. Stevens made two free throws to push the lead back to 10. Purdue failed to capitalize on its next possession, and Penn State escaped a late scare for the win, 88-76.


  • Penn State shot the lights out from three, connecting on a season high 14 from beyond the arc, Lundy leading the way with six. The Nittany Lions were just one off from a school record 15 threes. If they weren’t as successful from deep, it is likely that the Nittany Lions’ fate might’ve been similar others so often face at Mackey.
  • Wheeler tipped the ball with about four minutes left, and ran the length of the floor in an attempt to regain possession. Harrar slid as well, despite the team being up 17 points with the game seemingly (at the time) wrapped up. The play, although amounting to nothing positive in the stat sheet, showed just how hungry and invested every player is in Chambers’ system.
  • Purdue has enjoyed huge wins at the Mackey Arena this season, notably No. 5 Virginia (by 29 points), No. 18 Michigan State (29), and No. 17 Iowa (36). While the superb shooting from beyond the arc propelled the Nittany Lions to the win, other factors may have proven crucial in West Lafayette. The game was the earliest tip-off of the night across the nation, and hosted on a Tuesday.

What’s Next

Penn State will host Northwestern on Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center. The game will tip-off at noon and will air on BTN.


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