Nittany Lions Drop 63-62 Heartbreaker to Purdue
Jan. 19, 2011
West Lafayette, Ind., Jan. 19, 2011 - Penn State (10-8: 3-4 Big Ten) once again showed its ability and grit on the road taking the lead at No. 14 Purdue (16-3; 5-1 Big Ten) with under 20 seconds to play before JaJuan Johnson hit a game-winning 17-foot jumper with three seconds on the clock to steal a 63-62 win for the Boilermakers.
Jeff Brooks led Penn State with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting and added eight rebounds. David Jackson added 13 points and a pair of big threes in the closing minutes. Talor Battle had 14 points, six boards and four assists on another tough shooting night going 5-of-15.
Johnson led Purdue with 25 points on 9-of-18 from the floor and E'Twaun Moore broke out of a slump for 16 points on 7-of-15. Penn State shot 52 percent from the floor, was a perfect 8-of-8 at the foul line and won the rebounding battle, 30-19, but couldn't overcome a Purdue team that scored well below its 75 points per game average but committed just three turnovers and hit 9-of-10 at the line. It marked the fourth-straight game the Lions have dominated the boards and the fourth straight holding an opponent well below its season scoring average.
Penn State used three big runs to nearly pull of the road upset for the second straight game. Penn State fell at No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday, 69-66, after trailing by as many as 10. The Lions shot 55 percent from the floor in that game and have now hit 34 of their last 35 free throws. This time the Lions rallied from a 14-point first half deficit with a 9-2 run to close the first half and trailed by just six, 34-28, at halftime.
Penn State came out of the locker room and hit its first four shots to score the first nine points of the second half and take a 37-34 lead. It marked an 18-2 run over a nearly eight minute span that put the Lions smack in the middle of another upset bid. Andrew Jones hit, Jackson got a three, Tim Frazier bounced a jumper in and Jones got another bucket off an assist from Jackson and the Lions led by three.
Purdue regained a three-point lead, 44-41, after a Johnson bucket and a Kelsey Barlow dunk with 13:28 to play. The Boilers led by three again, 54-47, following a Barlow steal and dunk and two Johnson free throws with 6:24 to play.
With a capacity crowd roaring, Penn State mounted a 10-2 run to regain the lead. Talor Battle hit a three. Jeff Brooks got a jumper and a pair of free throws, and David Jackson buried a three with 3:20 to play for a 57-56 Lion lead.
Purdue retook the lead on a baseline jumper from D.J. Byrd and extended its lead to three again on a Moore drive. Penn State battled back, and, after Jackson hit a pair at the line, trailed by one, 60-59, with under two minutes to play.
Johnson was fouled on a near steal by Battle and hit one at the line to extend the lead to two. On Penn State's possession, Battle used a Jackson screen, drove, drew the defenders and kicked back to Jackson who buried a three with 18 seconds to play to give the Lions a 62-61 lead.
On Purdue's next possession, Moore drove into traffic and appeared to lose the ball out of bounds. The officials called it off of Frazier and the Boilers maintained possession with five seconds to play. Both teams used timeouts to set their strategy for the closing seconds. Purdue inbounded to Johnson, who squared and hit the 17-foot game winner with three seconds left.
Penn State's long in-bounds pass was intercepted by Lewis Jackson and 14,123 at Mackey Arena breathed a sigh of relief as Purdue improved to 10-0 at home on year and 80-12 under Matt Painter.
Purdue came out sizzling hitting six of its first eight from three to start the game as the Boilers built as much as a 14-point first half lead. Moore snapped out of a four-game shooting slump with a tough 18-footer and proceeded to score eight straight points for the Boilers as they used an 11-4 run midway through the half to build a 23-10 lead and force a Penn State timeout.
Moore had 12 points in the half to lead Purdue while Battle and Brooks both logged nine for Penn State. After struggling early in the half, including a 2-of-7 performance from three, Penn State heated up to 54 percent shooting in the half while the Boilers cooled to 48 percent. Penn State also surged on the boards late and took a 13-11 rebounding edge to the locker room.
A Frazier lay-up on a nice feed from Battle got Penn State to within 11, 23-12, but D.J. Byrd answered with a three for Purdue and the Boiler led 26-12 with 7:30 to play.
With Penn State on the ropes, Battle scored seven straight points for the Lions to keep them within striking distance. Battle hit a three, a lay-up and a short jumper.
Penn State trailed 32-20 when Brooks came alive and scored seven of Penn State's last nine points of the half as the Lions surged with a 9-2 run to get within six at the half.
Brooks buried a three, hit a jumper and tipped in Battle's closing seconds lay-up attempt as Penn State went to the locker down 34-28.
Penn State will take the weekend off before returning to the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday, Jan. 26 to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in a 6:30 p.m. tip on the Big Ten Network. Iowa has won the last two meetings in the series, both in Iowa City, and leads the series 22-11. Penn State has won the last three meetings in State College.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 814-865-5555, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Tickemaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level ticket for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5 for each of the 19 home contests.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Assistant Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.