WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Penn State battled back from an 11-point second-half deficit, but No. 6 Purdue held off the Nittany Lions for a 76-73 win at Mackey Arena Sunday night. Carsen Edwards had 27 points to lead all scorers with nine field goals, including three 3-pointers. 

“To come here in this environment, to put ourselves in position to steal it, it was critical and it shows you what kind of heart we had,” said Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers. “We have to play smarter basketball, finish the half, and that’s all part of the growth. I think we’re going to learn a lot from this game.”

Penn State would get within one point of Purdue four times in the final 5:14 after tying the score at 58, but the Boilermakers’ timely threes kept them in front.

Senior Shep Garner’s fifth 3-pointer of the night would pull Penn State within one, 69-68, with 2:12 left in the game. Purdue’s Isaac Haas had a jumper and junior forward Satchel Pierce landed a layup, but a trey by Boiler Dakota Mathias pushed Purdue back to a four point lead, 74-70 a minute later.

In the final minute, as the two teams both missed field goal attempts, free throws assisted in the final margin. Purdue’s C. Edwards hit two with two seconds left in the game for the final 76-73 outcome.

The Nittany Lions took a 36-32 into the locker room, but the Boilermakers raced out of the halftime break on a 21-6 lead in the first 7:30 to go up 53-42. Penn State countered with a 14-3 run of its own over the next five minutes to tie the score at 56 all. 

Four of five Nittany Lion baskets in the stretch came from beyond the arc with two treys from Garner and one each from Carr and Reaves.

Purdue had a 14-10 advantage in the points scored in the paint in the second half and added eight points to its totals off Penn State turnovers. The Nittany Lions had seven at halftime but had six miscues early in the second half to help fuel the Boilermakers’ run.

The Boilermakers went to the free throw line 27 times and converted on 17 of those attempts. Penn State won in the rebounding column 35-28.

Three Nittany Lions scored in double figures with sophomore guard Tony Carr taking the lead with 19 points, Garner adding 17 with 11 coming in the second half, and Lamar Stevens with 11 on the night. 

NIttany Lion redshirt sophomore forward Mike Watkins played one-third of his average minutes per game after foul trouble put him on the bench early in the contest.

The Boilermakers had built a five-point lead, 13-8, in the first five minutes, but the Nittany Lions roared back with a 10-2 run to go up 18-15. After trading baskets and misses with Purdue, Penn State used baskets by sophomore guard Nazeer Bostick, Carr and Stevens to outscore the Boilermakers 11-2 for a 29-20 score with 5:04 in the first period.

Edwards closed out the half with 10 of Purdue’s 12 points while Carr and Stevens combined for seven to get to the 36-32 halftime score.