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Penn State Hoops Overwhelmed By No. 1 Purdue 80-60

Penn State men’s basketball (14-8, 5-6 Big Ten) fell to No. 1 Purdue (22-1, 11-1 Big Ten) 80-60 on the road at Mackey Arena Wednesday evening. Seth Lundy led the way for the Nittany Lions with 18 points and six rebounds. Jalen Pickett had an off day and tallied just 12 points, seven assists, and five rebounds.

Michael Henn had a career game, scoring 11 points and posting five assists, though all of his points came in the first half. All in all, the offense was largely non-existent, as Shrewsberry’s unit could not buy a basket in Mackey Arena.

How It Happened

Henn started the scoring on a wide-open three, and Penn State was off to an early start. Lundy had a massive slam dunk as well, and the Nittany Lions had a lot of momentum early on. The Nittany Lions did a great job early preventing Zach Edey from scoring early on, but he later found his groove and found the bottom of the basket.

As the matchup continued, Henn proved to be the offensive spark throughout the first seven minutes of the game. He hit two more threes and scored nine of the first 11 points for Penn State. He also defended Edey solidly across the stretch.

The Boilermakers then went on a roll, and the Nittany Lions could not buy a conversion. Andrew Funk went cold, and Jalen Pickett was stifled by Purdue’s interior. Edey also snagged multiple offensive rebounds to extend possessions and score on second chances.

Penn State was freezing cold from the field for the majority of the opening half. It was 1-7 from the field over a five-minute period, and only Henn seemed to have success from around the perimeter.

Lundy ended the scoring drought, sinking a contested three as the shot clock expired and then scoring on a put-back layup. But was owned by Mason Gillis, who sunk four threes in the opening half.

The Nittany Lions climbed back late in the opening 20 minutes, though. By the end of the half, they were only down 35-29.

Pickett got a much-needed layup to start the second half scoring for Penn State. However, Gillis then nailed three straight threes and the momentum fully swung to Purdue’s side. Caleb Dorsey was continually beaten defensively, and Gillis kept making him pay, forcing Shrewsberry to burn an early timeout.

The matchup then became a clinic for Purdue. Matt Painter’s bunch went on a 14-2 run, and it felt like every shot they took was an easy bucket. No one could miss, and the Nittany Lions failed to make the necessary adjustments to stop the bleeding.

Dorsey managed to score in the paint to lighten the margin, but Penn State went on another two-minute scoring drought that sunk any chances it may have had in the game. Lundy kept playing well, however, scoring the last seven points for the Nittany Lions. Pickett then hit two straight threes, which forced Matt Painter to call a timeout.

After the break, Purdue went on another big run, which included Gillis setting the Mackey Arena record with nine three-point-conversions throughout the matchup. There was nothing Penn State could do to really get back into the game, especially since it faced a 20-point deficit with three minutes left in the game.

Shrewsberry played some younger players who didn’t get as much playing time throughout the game in the last three minutes. Evan Mahaffey made the most of it, sinking a three-point shot and Jameel Brown made two free throws as well. It was not enough, however, and Penn State lost 80-60.


  • Michael Henn should take a bow after his first-half performance today. He proved to be a tough matchup against Zach Edey, and he exploded offensively. This was his breakout game, and he has earned more consistent minutes on the court. Penn State would have been in much worse shape if it did not have Henn’s 11 points and two assists in the first half.
  • The road woes continue for Penn State. It is almost like it is two different teams; one who dominates at home and one who can’t put it all together on the road. In the last three road games, not including today, the team has shot 29% from three on the road. If this team wants to play meaningful basketball in March, its struggles away from the Bryce Jordan Center must come to a halt.
  • This game is further evidence to show that if Andrew Funk does not play well, neither does Penn State. Funk finished the game 1-9 from the field, and he did not make a single three-point shot. Shrewsberry has said all year that he needs to be more consistent, and this is just another one of those instances.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will continue a two-game road stretch and stop at Nebraska on Sunday, February 5. Tip-off is slated for 4:30 p.m. and will air on the Big Ten Network.

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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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