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Penn State Hoops Can’t Overcome Early Mistakes, Loses To Purdue 73-52

Penn State men’s basketball (8-13, 5-12 Big Ten) couldn’t find its stroke shooting the ball Friday night, as it lost to the Purdue Boilermakers (16-8, 11-6) Big Ten 73-52. The Nittany Lions only made six threes all game, and shot 37% from the floor. It was the largest win for the Boilermakers in Happy Valley since 2008.

Myreon Jones led the team with 11 points, while John Harrar, Myles Dread, and Jamari Wheeler contributed nine points each.

How It Happened

Jamari Wheeler got the scoring started with a three-point basket. After a couple back-to-back stellar defensive possessions, Myles Dread was able to knock down a three. The aggressiveness kept Purdue on its toes.

The Boilermakers adjusted quickly, however, scoring seven straight points after Dread’s three. Trent Buttrick was able to hit another three to stop that scoring streak. Purdue then scored in the paint, but Sam Sessoms followed up with a shifty layup to tie it up.

The Boilermakers went on another small run before Wheeler was able to end it with a drive to the basket. But, the Nittany Lions committed several turnovers, and the momentum was definitely in Purdue’s court.

Myreon Jones got to the paint and drew a foul, but he missed both free throws. It was very symbolic of how the night was going for the Nittany Lions.

Dread was able to break a scoring drought with a catch-and-shoot three, his second of the game. On the next offensive possession, he hit another three pointer. Then, Izaiah Brockington got his evening going with a midrange basket. The tide seemed to be turning the Nittany Lions’ way.

Sessoms got to the free throw line, but he couldn’t make the free looks. The Boilermakers then went on a nine-point scoring run to extend their lead to double digits.

Jones was able to break the scoring drought, driving to the paint and drawing a foul. He would make the free throw. Wheeler also scored on the next possession on a drive to the basket.

Some careless basketball led to some easy baskets for Purdue, and Penn State could not buy a basket. The Nittany Lions went into halftime trailing 41-26.

John Harrar got the second half started with two big baskets. Brockington then followed up with a quick drive to the basket, and that was followed by a similar drive by Wheeler.

Harrar was able to score after a couple of baskets by Purdue, but the Boilermakers had a massive slam dunk as a response. Harrar’s heart was showing, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the hole the Nittany Lions were already in.

After five minutes of no scoring, Harrar broke that streak with a beautiful layup that also drew a foul. He would go on to make the free throw. After another stretch of missed baskets, Jones was able to score to break that streak.

Jones would go on to score again on a midrange shot. But, the Nittany Lions could not get any momentum as they either committed a turnover or missed a shot.

Freshman Dallion Johnson entered the game and was able to log some meaningful playing time for the first time this season. He would airball his first shot of the game, but would sink a floater on his next look.

Other reserves Kyle McCloskey, Patrick Kelly, and Caleb Dorsey would also get into the game to get some game action. Dorsey was able to hit a three as the game went down to the final 90 seconds.

It was an ugly finish to the game, as no one made any more shots. Penn State would fall to the Boilermakers 73-52.

Takeaways

  • With only two games left, Myles Dread should continue to be in the starting lineup. Seth Lundy has played so inconsistently that it’s hard to argue he should earn a start, while Dread has been a big spark when the offense has not been doing well. He has earned a spot in the lineup.
  • Sloppy turnovers were a big weak spot for the team against Purdue. It was a huge momentum killer and it allowed the Boilermakers to take control of the game. These are mistakes that this team just cannot make if they want to end the season on a winning streak.
  • This should’ve been a game where the freshmen played bigger minutes, and not just at the end. The game was relatively out of reach since halftime, and they need game experience. This would have been a perfect opportunity to see what they bring to the table in the last couple games of the season. We have yet to see many of Penn State’s freshmen this season, and that could have consequences for the future.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will stay at home for Senior Night as Minnesota comes to play on Wednesday, March 3. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and air on BTN.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a senior from Annapolis, Maryland, majoring in secondary education and minoring in social justice in education. When he is not writing for the blog, he enjoys rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor", and yes mom, actually doing school work. If you would like to talk about sports or "Survivor", the best way to reach out is on Twitter @theowenabbey. All other compliments may be sent to [email protected]

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