Penn State has seen some terrific nights throwing three-pointers through the net this season, but on Wednesday night the fortune was reversed in a big way. Purdue’s Mason Gillis was a man on fire from three-point range as he turned in a career night with nine made three-pointers and 29 points in a 80-60 victory over Penn State.
Penn State trailed the Boilermakers by six at halftime but could not keep up the pace after halftime. Similar to their previous meeting with Purdue in Philadelphia earlier this season, Purdue had everything working for it after halftime while Penn State could not keep pace. Such is the difference between a polished program like Purdue, which has lost just once all season, and Penn State, a program that is showing signs of improvement but is looking to continue taking the next steps forward.
While there is no shame in losing on the road against the top-ranked team in the country, there could be some frustrations for head coach Micah Shrewsberry, who for the second time saw his team lag behind Purdue after the halftime break. This is the second double-digit road loss for Penn State in the past week after losing at Rutgers so badly last week that Shrewsberry openly criticized his team’s effort (which led to a big turnaround with a big home win against Michigan).
Seth Lundy was Penn State’s leader in scoring with 18 points and rebounds with six. Jalen Pickett added 12 points with seven assists and five rebounds. But Andrew Funk managed to contribute just two points and was a cold 0-for-6 from three-point range. Penn State’s bench contributed 15 points with Camryn Wynter and Myles Dread limited to just three points each in 31 combined minutes.
Evan Mahaffey was a bit of a bright spot off the bench with seven points on 3-for-3 shooting in 14 minutes. But this night was all about Purdue’s Gillis and his 29 points in 24 minutes.
Penn State dropped one game below .500 in Big Ten with the loss. The Nittany Lions will look to get a rebound win when they travel to Nebraska for a Sunday afternoon game.
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