Zach Edey scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead No. 1 Purdue to a 76-63 comeback win over Penn State on Sunday night at the Palestra in Philadelphia.
Purdue (15-1, 4-1 Big Ten) trailed by six at the half but responded with a strong defensive performance to sweep what was a two-game road trip after beating Ohio State on Thursday. The wins followed the Boilermakers’ first loss of the season Monday against Rutgers, which could drop Purdue from the nation’s top ranking.
Jalen Pickett finished with 26 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to lead Penn State (11-5, 2-3), which lost its second in a row after winning the previous five.
Edey had only three assists, but his second and third were crucial. He dished the ball inside to Caleb Furst for a bucket with 2:11 left after the Nittany Lions had pulled within 71-61. After Penn State cut Purdue’s lead to 73-63, Edey again found Braden Smith for an open 3-pointer with 1:12 left that ended any hopes for a Penn State comeback.
Purdue opened the second half with a 12-0 run sparked by Fletcher Loyer and Edey.
Pickett scored 18 of his points in the first half, but the Boilermakers did a better job defensively against him in the second half, and against Penn State’s guards overall.
The Nittany Lions shot 36.7 percent from the field (11 for 30) in the second half and made only 2 of 10 3-point attempts following halftime after making 6 of 12 in the first half.
Edey helped Purdue dominate inside, shooting 14 of 21 from the field and blocking three shots on the defensive end. The Boilermakers outrebounded the Nittany Lions 36-25 and outscored them 42-28 in the paint.
Loyer was 4 of 7 from 3-point range and finished with 17 points, while Smith had 15 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Seth Lundy had 14 points and five rebounds for Penn State.
–Field Level Media