Penn State men’s basketball (19-10, 9-7 Big Ten) lost to No. 6 Purdue 76-73 in West Lafayette on Saturday night. Tony Carr had a shot to tie the game as time expired near the same area that he made his buzzer-beater in Columbus, but the shot went wide as the horn sounded.
Carr led the Nittany Lions with 19 points, five rebounds and five assits, followed closely by Shep Garner’s 17 points off of five made three-pointers. Mike Watkins found himself in early foul trouble, limiting his impact on tonight’s game massively.
How It Happened
Purdue jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first two minutes of tonight’s game as Mike Watkins found himself in early foul trouble in the midst of a tough matchup with Isaac Haas, picking up two quick fouls. Julian Moore replaced him just 1:58 into the action.
The Nittany Lions stuck around with the Boilermakers through the first ten minutes of the contest, mostly due to a hot start from behind the arc. The team started 3-for-3 from downtown thanks to Tony Carr and Shep Garner.
Penn State took its first lead of the evening after a Nazeer Bostick tip-in put the Nittany Lions up 16-15, the culmination of a 7-0 run for the visitors.
Purdue’s offense struggled as Penn State’s defense put on a show, all while Mike Watkins sat out due to early foul trouble. The strong defensive performance was complemented by an 11-1 run as the team opened up a 29-20 lead with five minutes left in the first.
The Boilermakers responded by cutting their deficit to three, but two quick Carr baskets followed by a Lamar Stevens three put the Nittany Lions back up by nine. Penn State entered halftime with a 36-32 lead after Purdue closed out the half with five unanswered points. The advantage came even as Watkins, Garner, and Bostick picked up two fouls.
Purdue opened the second half with a 7-0 run to take a 39-36 lead just over two minutes into the frame. It took 2:35 for Tony Carr to score Penn State’s first points of the half via a mid-range jumper.
The Nittany Lions’ offense completely shut down in the early part of the second half as the Boilermakers took an 11-point lead with 12 minutes to play. Purdue star Carsen Edwards was a huge part of that run, and he finished the game with 27 points.
Although the Nittany Lions’ offense went completely cold, Purdue did not run away with the game due to a spectacular effort by Penn State’s defense. Pat Chambers’ squad trimmed Purdue’s lead to four thanks to a Josh Reaves three-pointer and another Julian Moore and-one.
Two three-pointers by Shep Garner knotted the game at 56-all with 7:01 to play in the half. The teams traded baskets for nearly five minutes following Garner’s six-point swing, but the Nittany Lions did not score another three-pointer until Garner hit his fifth(!) three-ball of the night with 2:03 to play in the second half.
Mike Watkins was fouled with four seconds left as Penn State trailed by two, but the big man missed the first of the two free throws. Two Carsen Edwards free throws followed by a Carr’s missed prayer at the buzzer sealed the game for the Boilermakers.
Player Of The Game
Shep Garner | Senior | Guard
Shep Garner made his presence felt throughout tonight’s game, draining several clutch three-pointers for Penn State. He finished tonight’s game with 17 points while shooting 6-for-9 from the field.
Penn State will wrap up its home slate against No. 22 Michigan on Wednesday in a game that tips off at 7 p.m.