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Edwards, Haarms team up to lead No. 12 Purdue past Penn St.

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Carsen Edwards scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half Saturday and Matt Haarms added a career-high 18 points to lead No. 12 Purdue past Penn State, 76-64.

The Boilermakers (18-7, 11-3 Big Ten) reclaimed a share of the conference lead with their ninth win in 10 games.

Lamar Stevens finished with 18 points and Rasir Bolton had 17 for Penn State (9-16, 2-12). The Nittany Lions have lost have 10 of 12.

The Edwards-Haarms combination completely changed the game early in the second half. The duo teamed up to score nine points in a 14-2 run that turned a four-point game into a 50-34 lead.

Penn State answered with six straight to cut the deficit to 50-40 and eventually got as close as 61-56 when Josh Reaves completed a three-point play with 4:27 left. But Purdue closed it out with an 8-0 run.

It was an odd game. The Big Ten’s two top scorers — Edwards and Stevens — both played through foul trouble and turned the ball over a combined 15 times. Neither team followed its usual script in the first half, either.

Instead, the Nittany Lions made three 3-pointers in the first four minutes to help give them a 17-10 lead. They made only two more the rest of the game.

Purdue, meanwhile, committed 12 first-half turnovers — more than its final tally in all but seven games this season. The Boilermakers wound up with a season-high 23.

And yet with Edwards making only one basket over the final 13 1/2 minutes of the first half, the Boilermakers somehow scrapped their way back. They tied the score at 19, took their first lead on Nojel Eastern’s layup with 6:47 left and closed out the half with a 33-30 advantage.

BIG PICTURE

Penn State: This series has been full of frustration for the Nittany Lions. After rallying from a 17-point deficit to force overtime, the Boilermakers pulled away in January. This time, Penn State outplayed Purdue for most of the first half and a stretch in the second half, but couldn’t overcome a poor start to the second half. The Nittany Lions have lost nine straight in the series and 12 straight at Mackey Arena.

Purdue: The Boilermakers overcame their turnover flurry to rebound from Tuesday’s loss with a solid final 30 minutes. While the slip-up at No. 24 Maryland earlier this week could lead to a slide in the rankings and Saturday’s start wasn’t impressive, the Boilermakers shouldn’t fall far in the rankings — if they drop at all.

STAT PACK

Penn State: Stevens also had six rebounds and eight turnovers. … Myles Dread scored 10 points and was the only other Penn State player in double figures. … The Nittany Lions were 5 of 24 on 3s, including 0 of 9 in the second half. … John Harrar and Mike Watkins each fouled out. Stevens and Reaves also finished the game with four fouls.

Purdue: Haarms made only his second start since Dec. 16 and had six rebounds and two blocks. … Edwards finished with seven turnovers. … Grady Eifert had seven points and eight rebounds, while Eastern had four steals. … The Boilermakers have won 15 consecutive home games. … Former Purdue star E’Twaun Moore was honored at halftime with his own bobblehead. Moore plays for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.

Penn State upsets No. 6 Michigan as John Beilein ejected at halftime

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Penn State earned one of the college basketball season’s more surprising upsets on Tuesday night with a 75-69 Big Ten home win over No. 6 Michigan.

Only 1-11 in league play entering this game, Penn State built up a sizable first-half lead against a sluggish Michigan before Wolverines head coach John Beilein was ejected at the end of the half.

Beilein appeared to take issue with a non-call right before halftime. With Penn State on offense, Michigan guard Zavier Simpson attempted to fight through a screen and fell to the ground after hitting a Penn State screener, contributing to Nittany Lion guard Rasir Bolton scoring at the rim.

With Beilin receiving a double technical and getting ejected, Penn State took a 40-27 lead into the break with the added benefit of four free throws to start the second half (three were made).

Although Michigan rallied in the final two minutes to make things interesting — cutting the game to four multiple times in the final minute — the Wolverines never had the momentum to overcome to first-half deficit. Lamar Stevens paced Penn State with 26 points and 12 rebounds while freshman guard Myles Dread had 17 points for the Nittany Lions.

Outside of Charles Matthews (24 points) and Jordan Poole (17 points), the Michigan offense struggled to find someone else to step up. It also didn’t help that Simpson was a woeful 2-for-9 from the floor with eight points and six turnovers. Michigan’s defense was also shaky during stretches of this one as this was a puzzling game at times on both ends.

Playing without Beilein during the second half, it was a strange night for the Wolverines. Normally, a coach like him wouldn’t get tossed in a situation to end the first half in a game that meant more.

But the loss still happened. And, for the moment, it’s only a Quadrant 1 loss, so it won’t even look that bad for Michigan’s NCAA tournament purposes. As long as Michigan is able to overcome a difficult stretch the next few weeks, this won’t mean anything.

With two games left against Maryland, and two more against rival Michigan State, the Wolverines have to shake this loss off quickly if they want to stay in the Big Ten race.

Thursday’s Things To Know: Purdue survives, Houston finds revenge and Bobby Hurley gets meme’d

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There may not have been a marquee matchup on the schedule or a top-25 showdown, but Thursday night gave us plenty of interesting ball and one hilarious moment in Tempe. Here’s what you need to know:

PURDUE AVOIDS BAD LOSS BY OUTLASTING PENN STATE IN OT

Michigan and Michigan State deservedly get most of the Big Ten love as they’ve established themselves as not only the premier teams in the league, but in the country. They’re a third of a group of six teams – along with Duke, Tennessee, Gonzaga and Virginia – that have separated themselves from the rest of the country through three months.

There are, though, teams looking to break into that tier, and Purdue has quietly been among them, winners of five in a row, including against the Spartans, coming into Thursday night, which should have been a snoozefest against a Penn State team still looking for its first B1G win.

Instead, the Boilermakers needed 38 points from Carsen Edwards and overtime to defeat the Nittany Lions, 99-90, and improve to 15-6 overall and 9-2 in the B1G.

Early on, it looked like the Boilers were going to make it the blowout it should have been as Carsen scored 20 before halftime and Purdue led by as many as 17, looking like it was going to easily crack 100 in regulation and blow out Pat Chambers’ team. Instead, Penn State clamped down – at least compared to the game’s first 12 minutes – and fought back to force an extra frame. In fact, Penn State has a pretty good argument it should have won in regulation when a clear foul against Lamar Stevens wasn’t called and gave the ball back to Purdue, which got a game-tying layup from Edwards that eventually forced overtime. Penn State didn’t get a field goal in the extra frame until there were just 32 seconds left on the clock and Purdue leading by 11.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was a road win for Purdue, which now has another pair of games it should win as it returns to West Lafayette for a two-game homestand against Minnesota and Nebraska. Then comes a huge game in College Park against No. 21 Maryland. It’s a critical stretch for the Boilers, who are a game back of both the Wolverines and the Spartans in the B1G standings. A hiccup against Penn State would have been a massive hit, both to their B1G hopes and the NCAA tournament resume.

HOUSTON GETS REVENGE

Houston is really good. Kelvin Sampson has built the Cougars into a formidable program not only in the AAC but in the country. They’re legit, even after losing Rob Gray from last year’s team. We don’t, however, talk about them all that much. You know when we would have? If they were going into February undefeated, but they’re not thanks to a setback at Temple earlier this month.

It’s probably only marginal solace, but Houston got that one back Thursday with a 73-66 win over the Owls at home in a game they largely controlled from start to finish.

Corey Davis, Jr. was great for the Cougs, scoring 24 points and grabbing five rebounds while Dejon Jarreau added 14 points and 12 boards from the bench.

Houston is in the midst of a huge stretch as the Owls were just a game out of first in the AAC, and now the Cougars have UCF (one game back) next Thursday followed by co-leader Cincinnati on Sunday and then Connecticut in Storrs later that week.

BOBBY HURLEY BECOMES A MEME (AND ARIZONA STATE WINS)

Arizona State bounced back from a loss to USC by beating in-state rival Arizona 95-88 in overtime Thursday in what I suppose is a relatively meaningful Pac-12 game. It keeps the Sun Devils within shouting distance of Washington at the top of the standings and every win counts when you’re trying to cobble together an at-large bid out of the Pac-12 these days.

The best thing to come out of this game, though, was Bobby Hurley getting smacked in the face by a basketball:

Now, I’m not celebrating Hurley experiencing some moderate physical discomfort or embarrassment here, but, goodness, this is so funny.

First off, it’s a loose ball, Bobby. Not Randy Johnson rifling a 102 mph fastball off your noggin. Might be a bit of an exaggerated reaction, there. I’m also still not sure how his feet come out from under him like he’s on an ice rink somewhere inside the Polar Vortex and not on a basketball floor in Tempe. Some enterprising social media users took the opportunity to point out that as a former Duke player, Hurley might have seen – or participated in – a flop or two in his life.

Maybe the best thing, though, is he gets right up and starts screaming at an official. It probably had nothing to do with the ball bouncing off his face, but it would be funnier if that’s what he was barking about.

Anyway, keep your head on a swivel, people.

Carsen Edwards’ 38 helps No. 17 Purdue hold off Penn State in OT

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Carsen Edwards scored 38 points, including 20 in the first half and a four-point play in overtime, to lead No. 17 Purdue past Penn State 99-90 on Thursday night.

Ryan Cline added 20 points and Trevion Williams scored 10 for the Boilermakers (15-6, 7-2 Big Ten), who led for all but 4:33 to win their sixth straight.

Lamar Stevens scored 24 points, Rasir Bolton added 18, Myles Dread scored 14 and Josh Reaves picked up 11 for the Nittany Lions (7-14, 0-10), who lost their eighth straight. Mike Watkins had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Edwards drove for a tying layup with 5 seconds left to send the game to overtime. Early in the extra period, he was fouled while making his eighth 3-pointer of the game, and he hit the free throw to put Purdue ahead by six.

The Boilermakers scored the first eight points and were 7 for 7 from the foul line in overtime.

Purdue dominated the first 11 minutes thanks to Edwards, who hit five of his six first-half 3-pointers in that span to help spot the Boilermakers a 31-14 lead. He finished 8 of 15 from beyond the arc.

But Penn State got back-to-back 3s from Rasir Bolton that sparked its offense. The Nittany Lions put together a 23-10 run over the final 6:31 before Aaron Wheeler made it 50-44 at the buzzer with Purdue’s 10th 3-pointer of the half.

BIG PICTURE

Purdue: After holding off No. 6 Michigan State in their last outing, the Boilermakers had to fend off another hard-charging team. Their resilience against Big Ten competition should help them in March.

Penn State: Coach Patrick Chambers has said his team is close to breaking out of its funk, and the Nittany Lions looked like it, playing their most inspired game since the eight-game skid began.

UP NEXT

Purdue: Hosts Minnesota on Sunday.

Penn State: Visits Northwestern on Monday.

Garza’s 22 lead No. 23 Iowa over Penn State 89-82

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — With plenty of time left on the shot clock and his team nursing a slight lead late, Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon probably could’ve been more patient.

His coach is glad he wasn’t.

Bohannon stepped back with 36 seconds left and drained his fifth 3-pointer of the night to clinch the No. 23 Hawkeyes’ 89-82 win over Penn State on Wednesday night.

“It’s a good shot because he took it,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “I would’ve been surprised if he didn’t shoot it.”

Bohannon finished with 19 points and Luka Garza matched a season-high 22 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds. Ryan Kriener had 15 off the bench for the Hawkeyes (15-3, 4-3 Big Ten), who won their fourth straight and ninth of 10.

Meanwhile, Penn State coach Patrick Chambers was surprised his team didn’t defend like it has recently when its last five opponents have failed to eclipse 71 points.

“It’s unfortunate that our defense wasn’t as good as it’s been all season long,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “The stats look fantastic but we couldn’t get the stops when we needed to.”

Josh Reaves and Rasir Bolton scored 16 points apiece for the Nittany Lions (7-11, 0-7), who led for most of the second half and by as many as eight with 11:05 left.

Mike Watkins chipped in 11 points and and 11 rebounds and Myles Dread scored 14 points for Penn State which scored the first eight points and led 45-40 at halftime.

After the teams swapped the lead five times in the final six minutes, Garza put Iowa ahead for good with a free throw that made it 83-82 with 1:36 to play. Bohannon’s 3-pointer moments later to put the game out of reach.

“We maintained our composure, got the lead back and got the stops we needed,” McCaffery said.

MISSED CHANCES

After opening with an 8-0 run, the Nittany Lions missed 16 of their next 21 shots including 10 misses from 3-point range.

OUT OF CHARACTER

Iowa’s not known as a 3-point shooting team and the Hawkeyes had made just 35 percent of their 3-pointers on the season heading into the game. However, they drained 12 of 28 (43 percent) overall against Penn State and 9 of 19 in the first half.

STEVENS’ STRUGGLES

Iowa planned to harass Stevens all night with double teams and hoped the pressure would force Penn State’s top-scorer to pass more than shoot.

Stevens was still able to set up his shots but went just 4-for-18 and 0-for-5 from 3-point range. His eight points were a season-low and marked the first time he was held below double digits since March 1 last season.

“He’s getting in the gym,” Chambers said. “He’s not happy with his jump shot right now and it’s unfortunate because he’s working hard right now.”

COOK’S RETURN LOOMING

Iowa played its second game this season without starting forward Tyler Cook who’s nursing a sprained ankle suffered against Ohio State.

But the team’s leading scorer and rebounder is nearing a return. McCaffery said he’s hopeful Cook can return Saturday against Illinois.

“That’s the plan,” McCaffery said. “You never know with sprained ankles.”

Cook missed Iowa’s Jan. 9 game with a sore knee.

THE BIG PICTURE

Iowa: Coming off arguably their best game of the season, the Hawkeyes came back to earth a bit. They struggled to keep up with Penn State’s speed, especially early when the Nittany Lions posted nine of of their first 11 points on fastbreaks.

Penn State: The early portion of the Nittany Lions’ conference schedule has been brutal with five losses to Top 25 teams already. It eases up a bit as their next three opponents are a combined 8-9 in conference play so far.

UP NEXT

Iowa hosts Illinois on Sunday.

Penn State visits Minnesota on Saturday.

Nick Ward leads No. 6 Michigan State over Penn State, 71-56

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Tom Izzo wasn’t impressed with much of No. 6 Michigan State’s double-digit victory over Penn State.

The Spartans built a big lead early and dominated at times in the paint in their 71-56 win on Sunday. From Izzo’s standpoint, that’s all they did well and that won’t be enough for the Spartans to be the team they want to be.

“Maybe we’re all talking too much about how good we are,” Izzo said. “We’re not that good.”

Playing without guards Joshua Langford and Kyle Ahrens, Michigan State’s offense suffered through spurts of inconsistency while also mounting the runs necessary to keep the game out of reach.

Nick Ward had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Matt McQuaid added 15 points and Cassius Winston chipped in 11 for the Spartans (15-2, 6-0 Big Ten), who have won 10 straight. They also beat the Nittany Lions (7-10, 0-6) for the 10th consecutive time.

Michigan State turned the ball over 17 times and shot 49 percent from the field.

“They missed some shots that I think they could’ve made,” Izzo said. “The turnovers were a joke.”

Kenny Goins added 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who only trailed for 10 seconds and led by as many as 21 with 6:44 to play.

The Spartans took control just over five minutes into the first half with a relentless possession.

Fueled by a pair of offensive rebounds from Goins and Xavier Tillman, the Spartans controlled the ball for nearly 40 seconds and took the lead for good when Winston pinpointed a bounce pass through traffic to Goins, who finished with a right-handed dunk. Goins’ jam sparked a 28-14 run for the Spartans, who led 40-24 at halftime.

Lamar Stevens led Penn State (7-10, 0-6) with 20 points. Myles Dread, Josh Reaves and Mike Watkins all scored 11 points.

“We haven’t brought it all together yet,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “We still have 14 (games) to go and we can turn this ship around right away.”

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

Izzo leveled some pointed criticism at Winston.

“I hate to say it, and I’m giving him credit for the whole season, but I told Cass, that was one of the worst games I’ve seen him play,” Izzo said.

Winston, who entered averaging 18 points per game, led the team with seven turnovers. His 11 points were his lowest output since Florida held him to 10 on Dec. 8.

Izzo said he wasn’t sure when Langford and Ahrens, who missed his first game this season with a back injury, would be back to help take the load off Winston in the backcourt.

“He sure as hell deserves a hall pass,” Izzo said. “But he can’t get many of them if we’re going to be a real good team.”

DOMINATION ON THE GLASS

Ward and Goins combined to grab more than half the Spartans’ rebounds. Overall, Michigan State outrebounded Penn State 41-21 but only scored two more points in the paint than Penn State’s 22.

“We did a better job keeping them off the glass in the second half,” Chambers said.

NOTHING TO DREAD

Dread went down with an apparent ankle injury with 8:11 to play.

The freshman guard got tangled up with Ward chasing a loose ball, fell and appeared to twist his left leg while sliding to a stop. He writhed in pain and had to be helped to the locker room. He was able to return minutes later, however.

Dread entered the afternoon averaging 8.4 points per game, and his 28.3 minutes per game were fourth on the team.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan State: The Spartans are getting by just fine without Langford, who missed his fourth straight game with an ankle injury. In his place, a handful of Spartans have provided scoring depth, including Ahrens, Aaron Henry and McQuaid.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are in desperate need of some positivity. Their 0-6 start in the Big Ten is their worst since the 2014-15 season, when they finished 4-14 in conference play.