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Penn State blows big lead in overtime loss to Purdue

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Penn State surrendered a nine-point second half lead, wasting a 37-point performance from DJ Newbill, and fell to 0-5 in the Big Ten after an 84-77 overtime loss to Purdue.

PITTSBURGH, PA - In a Saturday afternoon Big 10 matchup at the Bryce Jordan Center, it was a race to break losing streaks for both the Nittany Lions and the visiting Purdue Boilermakers. Penn State (12-6/0-5) started Saturday’s game on a four-game losing streak after a 76-73 loss to Indiana University on Jan. 13. Purdue (11-7) was coming off two straight losses.

The Boilermakers had a major size advantage, as their roster includes two players 7-feet or taller.  Both freshmen, Isaac Haas (7’2”) and AJ Hammons (7’0”) average over 10 points per game and caused issues for the Lions.

The Big 10’s leading scorer, Penn State senior D.J. Newbill, was the game’s high-scorer with 37 points.

The two teams battled neck and neck with back and forth offensive action throughout the first half when a 3-point jumper by Brandon Taylor tied the game at 21-21. 

Finally, the Nittany Lions pulled ahead after a layup by Newbill and another 3-pointer by Taylor to make it 26-21. 

Turnovers and missed shots slowed the offensive action late in the first half but Penn State led 34-25 at the half. 

The Nittany Lions surrendered the entire nine-point lead to open the second half, but finally snapped the scoreless streak with a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Geno Thorpe.  Penn State then pushed their lead right back to eight-points with a mini-run of their own.

Penn State took a 67-64 lead on a pair of Newbill free throws with 12 seconds left in regulation, but Purdue leading scorer Kendall Stephens scored the game tying 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining and sent the game into overtime.Penn State DJ Newbill

Purdue dominated offensively at the beginning of overtime, using a layup and six free throws to take a commanding 75-67 lead. With 2:11 left in OT, Penn State broke their scoring drought with a jump shot by Newbill. No other Lions player managed to score in overtime, as Newbill carried Penn State on his back with all 10 points in the extra period.

Stevens led the Boilmakers in scoring with 22 points.

Penn State has now lost five games in a row, and is alone in last place in the Big 10 conference.

The Nittany Lions will travel to Michigan State to take on the Spartans on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.

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