There were only four games in Big Ten Basketball this weekend, but there was still plenty of news and some fantastic performances. Here is a roundup from the conference. Purdue will likely fall out of the Associated Press’ top five but the Boilermakers bounced back nicely from their home loss to No. 23 Wisconsin earlier week with a 74-67 road victory over Penn State on Saturday.
The Boilermakers (13-2, 2-2 Big Ten) outscored the Nittany Lions 10-2 over the final 3:41. Purdue went 3-of-5 from the field and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line down the stretch while holding Penn State to 1-of-6 shooting while also forcing two turnovers.
Trevion Williams led the way with 21 points off the bench, including scoring the final go-ahead basket. Williams was 9 for 12 from the field and grabbed nine rebounds, with six coming on the offensive end in 21 minutes as he was plagued with foul trouble throughout. Jalen Pickett picked up his first double-double of the season to pace the Lions (7-6, 2-3) with 21 points and 10 dimes.
- Purdue is off to its best start since 2017-18 though it is the third time in the last seven seasons that they have begun the season 13-2.
- The Boilermakers are 42-13 all-time against the Nittany Lions.
- Purdue is 5-2 in games decided by single digits. The Boilermakers, one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation, have been held to under 80 points in six of their last seven games.
- Matt Painter continues to do a stellar job at Purdue. Painter is 368-167 in 17 years with the Boilermakers and needs just three more victories to tie Ward “Piggy” Lambert for second on Purdue’s career victories list. He tied Michigan State head coach Judd Heathcote for seventh place in the conference history with 182 Big Ten wins.
- Redshirt freshmen Mason Gillis reached double-figures for the third time in the past four games with a career-high 14 points versus PSU as he was 4 of 5 from the field, including 3 of 4 from the 3-point line and 3 of 3 from the charity stripe. Gillis has compiled a shooting slash line of .600/.560/1.000 this year.
- 6-4 sophomore guard Jaden Ivey, Purdue’s leading scorer (16.2), finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds for his 12th straight double-figure scoring game.
- Senior guard Sasha Stefanovic moved into 11th place on the school’s all-time 3-point list (178) with 3 triples against the Lions. He averages 2.6 treys a game this year while shooting them at a 42.6% clip.
- Reserve guard Ethan Morton has a 6-to-1 (36-to-6) assist-to-turnover ratio this season.
- Seven-foot-4 center Zach Edey is on the Wooden’s Award midseason 25 watch list after not being on the award’s top 50 list at the beginning of the season. Edey has produced four double-doubles and scored in double-figures on nine occasions, topping 20- points five times. He averages 14.9 points on 71% shooting to go along with 7.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in less than 20 minutes a game. Eady is one of nine players to shoot 70% from the field and charity stripe.
- The Boilermakers went 11-0 in nonconference play, marking the fourth time since 1938-39 that they finished with an unblemished record.
- Purdue, 1-1 on the road, host Nebraska on January 14 before paying visits to Illinois (January 17) and Indiana (January 20).
Penn State Tidbits
- Penn State had a two-game winning streak snapped with the loss to Purdue. The Lions also fell to 0-2 against ranked teams and 1-4 in Quad I games.
- Jalen Pickett, second on the team in scoring (13.3), has scored in double-figures in six straight and 10 of 11. His 10 assists were the most by a Nittany Lion since Tony Carr had 14 against Utah in the NIT Championship in 2018
- Penn State is now 1-26 all-time against teams ranked in the top three of the AP Poll.
- Seth Lundy continues to show improvement. Lundy has been much more consistent this year and leads the team in scoring, 3-pointers, 3-point percentage, and blocked shots. He has scored in double-figures in 11 of 13 games, topping the 20-point mark twice.
- Greg Lee, a 6-9 transfer from Western Michigan, has been a major help on the offensive glass for the Nittany Lions. He is grabbing 11.5% of the available rebounds on that end of the floor, which is only behind John Harrar at 14.6%. Lee missed the team’s first nine games with an unspecified injury and averages 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds on the season.
- Senior Myles Dread drilled his 200th career 3-pointer in PSU’s victory over Northwestern on January 5. Dread needs seven more treys to move past Tyus Ivory for sixth on the school’s all-time list.
- The Lions have struggled on the defensive this year, owning a defensive rating of 102.1, but they have held seven of their last 10 opponents, including Purdue, to at least 10 points under their season average.
- The Nittany Lions are the sixth oldest team in the nation, with an average roster age of 21.62.