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Penn State Hoops’ Micah Shrewsberry ‘Frustrated’ With Officiating Following Purdue Loss

During Penn State men’s basketball’s 76-63 loss to then-No. 1 Purdue, head coach Micah Shrewsberry was dealt a technical foul for jawing at a referee. It was the coach’s second technical in his first season and a half with the Nittany Lions.

There were many things that Shrewsberry was frustrated about that led up to the technical foul call. For starters, his team went into halftime with a six-point lead over the top team in the nation. However, a slow second-half start flipped the game completely, as Purdue cruised to victory after outscoring the Nittany Lions 45-26 in the second half.

Purdue outshot, outplayed, and as Shrewsberry said, “kicked our ass in the second half.”

After a dominating performance from Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson against Penn State’s defense last week, it struggled again with the Boilermakers’ Zach Edey, who dropped 30 points to go along with 13 boards. The Boilermakers also shot 66.7% to the Nittany Lions’ 36.7% from the field, giving them better numbers in every statistical category in the second half.

Accompanied by the loss, both teams combined for just 24 fouls and only 10 free throws. Edey took 21 total shots, yet only made two free throws. Jalen Pickett, on the other hand, was the only Nittany Lion to see the free-throw line all night. The Nittany Lions were only sent to the charity stripe three times throughout the game, which was Penn State’s season-low so far.

“You get frustrated after a while,” Shrewsberry said. “This isn’t a one-time thing. This is every time. I know I haven’t been here. I know I haven’t done anything in my career to earn any kind of goodwill from the officials. But, we shot three free throws. I know they shot seven, but it was a really physical game. The game didn’t warrant 10 free throws by both teams.”

Penn State is currently No. 350 nationally in free throw attempts per game with 11.6. To put it into perspective, only Jacksonville and Central Connecticut State are ranked lower. The Nittany Lions have attempted 186 free throws, making them the only team in the Big Ten with less than 200. Meanwhile, Purdue nearly doubles Penn State with 348 total.

Shrewsberry acknowledged that parts of the “1,000 points” he’s trying to make involve the different style of basketball that Penn State plays. While ranked No. 13 nationally with 447 threes attempted so far, the Nittany Lions tend to play along the perimeter and are not getting the calls.

“On the perimeter, we cut, we move,” Shrewsberry said. “And if you can put your hands on us, you slow us down and take away what we want to do.”

Shrewsberry continued to express his frustration even more.

“Come into the game and study,” he continued. “This is how Penn State plays. This is how Purdue plays. This is what they’re looking for, and this is what they’re looking for. And maybe they do, they are good officials, but I’m frustrated.”

Despite a referee not knowing his name against Michigan and another treating him “like I don’t know basketball,” Shrewsberry reiterated that he will continue to fight for his players.

“I’m always going to fight for my guys,” Shrewsberry said. “If I got to get a tech, I get a tech. If I got to get kicked out, I get kicked out. I am going to fight for my guys. I’m going to fight for this program to get some frickin’ respect.”

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About the Author

Tobey Prime

Tobey is a senior studying broadcast journalism from Lancaster, PA. He is a major Pittsburgh sports fan and Miami Heat fanatic. When Tobey isn't writing for Onward State, you can catch him looking at photos of his pugs. Send your best insults to [email protected] or sports takes to @tobey_prime on Twitter.

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