Penn State vs. Purdue Preview

Story posted February 2, 2014 in Sports, CommRadio by Ariel Epstein

Penn State men’s basketball will return to Happy Valley, to face Big Ten rival Purdue, on Sunday. The Blue and White (11-10, 2-6 in Big Ten) are coming off a thrilling overtime victory against Ohio State, while the Boilmakers just extended their losing streak on Thursday night, against Michigan.

After beating Penn State 65-64 on January 18, the Boilmakers have struggled to earn another victory. Purdue head coach, Matt Painter, owns a winning record of 84-56 in the Big Ten, through his nine years of coaching, but so far this season his team is a mere 3-5 in conference play.

Purdue has played average ball this year, with a 13-8 record. Ten of the Boilmaker’s 13 wins this season are in non-conference play. The three wins from within the Big Ten were against Nebraska, Illinois and Penn State, the three least impressive teams, record-wise, in the conference.

Thursday night, the Boilmakers fell short to Michigan (16-4, 8-0 in Big Ten) in Ann Arbor. After leading 21-20 halfway through the first half, Purdue did not regain the lead for the rest of the game and lost 75-66.

Sophomore center, A.J. Hammons, led the team with 16 points and eight rebounds against the Wolverines, while notching 17 points and 10 rebounds against Northwestern. Hammons leads the team in rebounds, averaging 6.9 per game.

Senior guard Terone Johnson, leads the team with an average of 12.9 points per game. In four of his past five games he has scored 10 or more points. However, Michigan was able to stop the guard, allowing Johnson to score just four points all game.

Johnson played well against Penn State a few weeks ago with 14 points, five rebounds and one assist. 

Johnson’s younger brother, Ronnie, is a sophomore guard for Purdue.

The Boilmakers have been playing sloppy games of late on both ends of the court. When Terone Johnson went to the free throw line to cut Michigan’s lead to four, Hammons committed a lain violation on the first shot of the one-and-one.

A big struggle for Purdue is their lack of defense. Michigan ran all over the Boilmakers and scored on 16 of 20 possessions at one point. The Wolverines also shot 61 percent from the field. Purdue needs to play a tighter defense to prevent shots from going up.

Penn State lost in their last meeting with Purdue after giving up a 3-pointer to Terone Johnson with seven seconds left in regulation.

Penn State’s leading scorers, D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier, average 17.6 and 16.1 points per game, respectively. Newbill had a stellar game against the Buckeyes tallying an impressive 25 points and eight rebounds. Frazier had eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Penn State must limit their fouls to compete for the entire game.

Purdue and Penn State will tipoff at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Ariel Epstein is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email ase5096@psu.edu.

Photo Courtesy: (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)