Penn State Gets Another Shot at No. 1 Purdue

Story posted February 1, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Thomas English

After an exciting first matchup that resulted in a 76-63 Purdue victory at the Palestra, Penn State and the Boilermakers clash one more time, this time in West Lafayette.

Penn State led at halftime the first time around, but their second half woes were too much for them to overcome and Purdue pulled away quickly.

The Nittany Lions could not shoot the rock in the second half, while Purdue seemed to make every shot they took. Purdue was able to capture the win and extend the series win streak to five.

Purdue comes into the game as the top team in the nation with an impressive 21-1 record and a 10-1 record in conference play. Their lone loss came on their home court on January 2nd, when they were upset by Rutgers 65-64.

Zach Edey has been the catalyst for the Boilermakers this season and is the leading candidate for the National Player of the Year and the Wooden Award. He is averaging 22.1 points and 13.0 rebounds per game.

In the last meeting, the Nittany Lions had a ton of trouble limiting Edey. The center dominated Penn State in the paint and went for 30 points and 13 boards.

The Boilermakers have benefitted from key contributions from freshmen duo Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith. The two knocked down a combined seven triples in the first meeting with Penn State.

The unanimous top team in the nation returns home with an eight-game win streak and is playing some of their best basketball this season.

On the other hand, Penn State is coming off of their most complete performance of the season in a dominating 83-61 win over Michigan. The Nittany Lions steamrolled their way into the half with a big lead and never looked back.

Wooden Award candidate, Jalen Pickett, dropped 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in another stellar performance. Seth Lundy contributed 22 points and seven boards while Andrew Funk scored 19 points en route to 1,500 career points for the sharpshooter.

The Nittany Lions seem to have fixed their second half struggles, but they face a team that gave them issues out of the gate last time they matched up.

Penn State has yet to win back-to-back games in the new year and they have struggled in tough road environments. The blue and white have also never beaten the No. 1 ranked team in the nation in program history.

All of this poses adversity for the Nittany lions, but Coach Micah Shrewsberry and his crew have proven that they can handle the pressure. They got a key road victory against a then ranked Illinois team.

Penn State has the pieces to make this game interesting and a win would be a huge resume builder for a team that is hanging on the edge of the bubble for the March Madness field.

Shrewsberry returns to Mackey Arena for the first time to face his former team and mentor in Matt Painter.

Purdue will have all of the momentum in the world for this game, but Penn State will be hungry for an upset in this clash between two very different teams.

The game is set to tip-off at 6:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network.

Thomas English is a second-year broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email