In its first home game in nearly a month, Purdue fought through a tough first half shooting to prevail against Penn State, 80-72, Sunday in Mackey Arena.
Purdue (10-5, 5-3 Big Ten) extended its winning streak to three games following the win. For Penn State (3-5, 0-4 Big Ten) this was its first game since Dec. 30 due to Covid-19.
Freshman guard Brandon Newman said Penn State came out with energy after its long layoff.
"We had to match it," Newman said.
Play. Maker. pic.twitter.com/TK1WJABZoQ— Purdue On BTN (@PurdueOnBTN) January 17, 2021
Leading 33-32 at halftime, the Boilers were only 3 of 13 (23.1%) from 3-point range and 14 of 25 (40%) from the field overall. Penn State, however, was even worse – 2 of 19 from 3 (10.5%) and 12 of 38 overall (31.6%).
Freshman forward Mason Gillis has been viewed as a player who does the "dirty work" for this Purdue team as he is often seen diving on the ball and making hustle plays.
"I love physical games," Gillis said. "It's just the kind of player I am. When balls are coming off the rim, it's fun to go get."
Coach Matt Painter also heralded Gillis' work ethic for his team.
"Some of those grimy gritty plays helped us," Painter said.
The Boilers came out strong in the second half going on a 10-0 run out of the break.
"I think we kind of settled in a little bit, kind of caught our second wind," Newman said. "The rest was there."
Purdue's struggles from 3 continued in the second half, shooting 7 of 26 beyond the arc (26.9%).
Junior guard Sasha Stefanovic, who was 3 of 10 from long range himself, kept it blunt while talking about the 3-point shooting throughout the game.
"We sucked shooting today," Stefanovic said.
Junior guard Eric Hunter Jr. handled the pressure of Penn State's defense and dished the ball well, finishing the game with 5 assists. and 14 points.
When the Boilermakers' offense struggled, they turned to their big men to make a play. Junior forward Trevion Williams finished with 13 points, and freshman center Zach Edey finished with 7.
Penn State drew within 4 at the end of the game, but freshman forward Mason Gillis hit clutch free throws down the stretch to seal it for the Boilermakers.
Purdue returns to action at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday when it travels to No. 21 Ohio State. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
• Every Purdue starter scored over 10 points.
• Junior guard Sasha Stefanovic led with 15 points, including a standout 4-point play after converting the and-one from a made 3 pointer.
• Guard Myreon Jones led the Nittany Lions with 23 points.
• Stefanovic played for 33 out of the 40 minutes in the game
• Purdue won its third straight game with an 80-72 victory over Penn State on Sunday in Mackey Arena. The victory improved Purdue to 10-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten Conference.
• The win improved Purdue to 22-3 at Mackey Arena against Penn State and improved Matt Painter to 24-6 against the Lions.
• The three-game win streak is tied for the longest of the season.
• Purdue has won 10 of the last 11 meetings vs. Penn State and 14 of the last 16 contests.
• The win was Matt Painter's 172nd win in Big Ten play, tying Wisconsin's Bo Ryan for ninth on the league's all-time wins list in league games.
• After scoring 81 points against Indiana on Thursday, Purdue has scored at least 80 points in consecutive Big Ten games for the first time since Jan. 11 to 15, 2019.
• Purdue has won 19 straight games when scoring at least 80 points and is 41-2 when reaching 80 points since the start of the 2017-18 season.
• Purdue is 51-8 at Mackey Arena against Big Ten foes since the start of the 2014-15 season, a full four games better than the next best record (Michigan State - 47-12).
• Purdue shot just 6-of-32 (.188) from 3-point range, but went 19-of-30 (.633) from inside the arc. The 26 misses are the most 3-point misses in a win in school history.
• Penn State's 39 3-point attempts were the most for an opponent in school history, surpassing the 38 by Villanova in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
• Purdue's freshman class scored 38 points.
• Purdue only had seven players score, but five players scored between 12 and 15 points.
• Purdue allowed 23 offensive rebounds for 27 second-chance points. The previous high this season allowed were 10 (Oakland and Ohio State) and 12 (Maryland).
• Trevion Williams notched his fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He has scored in double-figures in 10 straight games.
• Stefanovic scored 15 points with six rebounds. He has made a 3-pointer in 16 straight contests.
• Brandon Newman scored 13 points with five rebounds and three blocked shots.
• Mason Gillis tallied a career-best tying 12 points with five rebounds, two steals and an assist.
• Purdue wore black uniforms at home on Sunday. According to Coach Matt Painter, the Boilers had to go to black because Penn State brought its home uniforms, not the road ones.
– Purdue Athletics contributed to this report.
An inability to shoot from deep has defined Purdue men's basketball's matchup against Penn State this afternoon.
Neither team has shot the ball well, with both squads shooting under 40% from the field.
The teams are combining for 5-for-32 shooting from the 3-point arc. The Boilermakers are leading the Nittany Lions, 33-32, at halftime.
Purdue has played through its big men, with both junior forward Trevion Williams and freshman center Zach Edey each scoring 6 points. Edey also has two blocks in the game.
Penn State sustained defensive pressure throughout the first half, often double-teaming early in possessions and pressing up the court.
Junior guard Sasha Stefanovic hit the first 3 for the Boilermakers with about four minutes left in the half, ending the 15-shot drought from 3 for the team to start the game. 20 of Purdue's 33 points are from the paint.
Freshman forward Mason Gillis hit a 3-pointer as time expired to put Purdue ahead of the Nittany Lions at the half.