Penn St.-Purdue Preview
The No. 24 Boilermakers try for a ninth consecutive home win over the Nittany Lions on Wednesday night.
A winner of 16 of 19 in the series, Purdue (14-3, 2-2) hasn't lost to Penn State at Mackey Arena since Feb. 18, 2006. The Nittany Lions (10-7, 1-3) are 2-18 all-time against the Boilermakers on the road.
The Boilermakers' lone defeat in 11 home contests came against Iowa on Jan. 2, but they rebounded to beat the Wolverines 87-70 at Mackey five days later. If Purdue is to roll again at home, though, it needs a better all-around performance than it had in Sunday's 84-70 loss at Illinois.
"We just got beat," coach Matt Painter said.
Painter made no excuses after his team yielded a season-high 54.2 percent shooting to the Illini - 9 of 17 from 3-point range - and committed 16 turnovers that turned into 24 points for the host. Purdue has allowed its last three opponents to shoot 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.
"We have to do a better job of the details," Painter said. "It's got to be difficult for them on the other end."
Foul trouble plagued starters Vince Edwards, Johnny Hill and Rapheal Davis, and the Boilermakers' inside trio of A.J. Hammons (13.9 points per game), Isaac Haas (10.8 ppg) and Caleb Swanigan (10.1) managed 28 points - 10 in the second half.
The 7-foot-2 Haas has averaged 5.8 points and 41.7 percent shooting in the last six games.
Hammons has scored 20.7 points per game in the last three against Penn State, totaling 44 as Purdue took both meetings last season. The 7-footer has averaged 10.3 rebounds in six games against the Nittany Lions.
Back at Mackey for the first time since a 65-64 loss Jan. 18, 2014, Penn State has averaged 53.8 points and 39.6 percent shooting in the last eight visits.
The Nittany Lions shot 39.3 percent in their two Big Ten road games, and 41.2 in Sunday's 92-65 home loss to then-No. 5 Michigan State. Penn State allowed the Spartans to hit half of their 70 attempts and go 10 of 20 from 3-point range. Its last three opponents have shot 53.3 percent overall and 53.8 from behind the arc.
Purdue is shooting 48.0 percent at home and went 9 for 18 on 3s against Michigan after going 10 for 44 in the previous two at West Lafayette.
The conference's worst 3-point shooting team at 29.8 percent, Penn State went 3 of 14 on Sunday.
"We are going to pick ourselves back up," coach Patrick Chambers said. "It is going to be one of the years that we are going to be up and we are going to be down, and that's OK, as long as we continue the process of getting better."
Leading scorer Brandon Taylor (15.9 ppg) struggled against the Spartans, going 3 of 12 and totaling 10 points.
Penn State has dropped nine in a row against Top 25 opponents.