Despite a strong performance provided by freshman forward Brandon Taylor, Penn State (8-8, 0-4 Big Ten) fell to Purdue in West Lafayette, 60-42.
Taylor, the only player who scored in double figures for Penn State, led the team with 11 points, including a 55-foot buzzer beater to put the Nittany Lions within 8 points at the end of the first half. The rest of the offense sputtered, missing several open shots from close range while shooting a combined 25.9 percent from the field as a team. For the fourth game in a row, Penn State was held to less than 54 points.
Leading scorers D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall struggled again. The guards, who normally average just under 30 points per game as a pair, scored only 17 points on a combined 6-25 shooting performance. Ross Travis added five points and eight rebounds for Penn State.
The Boilermakers (8-8, 2-2 Big Ten) had four players score in double figures. Ronnie Johnson led the way with 13 points, while massive 7-foot center A.J. Hammons added 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots while causing problems for the Penn State big men inside the paint. Purdue out-rebounded Penn State 42-33.
Kevin Onyeaka, a two-year starter at Penn State Mont Alto who joined the team as a walk-on in October, saw his first minutes of this season early in the game. Pat Ackerman, Kevin Montminy, and Akosa Maduegbunam — usual deep bench players for Pat Chambers’ squad — saw significant time as well.
Penn State has yet to earn a Big Ten Conference win this season and will look to change this on Wednesday against No. 22 Michigan State at the Bryce Jordan Center.