STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Patrick Chambers credits his Penn State basketball team with staying the course – getting three straight Big Ten wins after a six-game losing streak.
A combined 52 points and 20 rebounds from D.J. Newbill, Tim Frazier and Brandon Taylor enabled the Nittany Lions to defeat Purdue 79-68 on Sunday. It marked the first time since the 2008-09 season Penn State has reeled off three in a row in Big Ten play.
The Nittany Lions (12-10, 3-6 Big Ten) got 19 points from Newbill, 18 from Frazier and 15 from Taylor.
Taylor scored nine points down the stretch, enough to keep Purdue at arm’s length.
The Boilermakers (13-9, 3-6) defeated Penn State 65-64 on Jan. 18 but have lost four straight since then.
That Purdue loss was devastating, Chambers said. I give these kids a lot of credit for staying the course. It could have been ugly; it could have been perfect storm.
Despite committing some late turnovers that allowed the Boilermakers to remain in the hunt, Penn State went 11 for 12 from the free-throw line in the final 1:07. The Boilermakers missed shots under the basket and were forced to foul.
A.J. Hammons led Purdue with 18 points and Ronnie Johnson had 12.
It’s frustrating, Purdue coach Matt Painter said. We’re in a good league, and it’s hard to get wins no matter what your record is. We just have to do a better job.
We need better leadership and more experience. You can be young but you can’t be immature. You have to grow up quick or you’re going to get steamrolled.
Penn State scored more than 70 points for just the second time in nine conference games.
Taylor also pulled down eight rebounds for the Lions and Newbill had seven as Penn State controlled the boards by a 40-36 count.
We’re definitely on a high right now, Newbill said. We’re playing some great basketball.
Frazier, who needs two assists to become Penn State’s career leader in that category, was 8 for 8 from the foul line and 5 for 10 from the field.
We’ve been through a lot, Frazier said. A lot of losses. But we continue to get better and learn how to finish games.