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