Penn State Vs. Purdue: Nittany Lions Victimized By JaJuan Johnson's Clutch Shooting In 63-62 Loss

The Nittany Lions travel to Purdue to face the Boilermakers in a rematch of a Jan. 5 meeting.

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Penn State Vs. Purdue: Nittany Lions Drop Heartbreaker In Final Moments

With about five seconds remaining in Penn State's game at No. 13 Purdue on Wednesday night, it looked like the Lions had done everything they needed to in order to win. After a clutch David Jackson 3-pointer with 21 seconds to play in the game, Penn State held a 63-62 lead, but on the ensuing possession for Purdue, star forward JaJuan Johnson hit a mid-range jumper with 3.4 seconds remaining to give the Boilermakers a 63-62 win at Mackey Arena.

Johnson's heroics thwarted the upset hopes of the Lions (10-8, 3-4) who were looking for their third upset in a stretch of five games against ranked opponents. Jeff Brooks led Penn State's ill-fated charge with 19 points and eight rebounds. Talor Battle had 14 ponts and six boards and David Jackson had 13 points and five rebounds.

Johnson led Purdue with 15 points, but was held to only three boards as Penn State won the rebounding battle 30-19. E'Twaun Moore broke out of his personal slump against Penn State for 16 points, five assists and two rebounds. Purdue (16-3, 5-1) now has its two game losing streak in the rear view mirror as it prepares for Michigan State on Saturday.

In addition to outrebounding the Boilermakers, the Lions out shot Purdue 52%-44%. They also hit all of their eight free throws on the evening. A -10 turnover margine (13-3) did Penn State in, though, as Purdue got up eight more shots on the evening (54-46), helping them score enough points to win.

Penn State must now wait a week to get the losing taste out of its mouth, as Iowa doesn't come to town until next Wednesday. The Hawkeyes, (7-11, 0-6) should provide a nice respite from the difficult competition the Lions have face of late, however, Penn State will need to make sure it brings its A-game to every contest the rest of the way as there is little room for error if the Lions hope to make the NCAA Tournament come March.

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Penn State Vs. Purdue: Nittany Lions Look To Avenge Loss

When Penn State clashes with No. 13 Purdue Wednesday evening at 8:30 on the Big Ten Network, it'll be a meeting of hot vs. cold.

Penn State has been on fire lately, pulling upsets of ranked teams in two of its past three games and losing only narrowly to now No. 1 Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus. Behind Talor Battle, now averaging over 20 points per game, the Nittany Lions have come alive after sleep walking through much of the non-conference schedule.

Purdue, on the other hand, has cooled off after a hot start. The Boilermakers have dropped two in a row at Minnesota last Thursday and at West Virginia on Sunday. Star guard E'Twaun Moore has had a trouble scoring, averaging only nine points per game in the last two.

However, though the teams might be trending in opposite directions at the moment, it's important to keep in mind Purdue blew Penn State 83-68 on the strength of a +15 rebounding margin. Though guard Jermaine Marshall emerged from the bench to score 18 points and establish himself in the Lions' rotation that day, little else went right for Penn State as guard Ryne Smith led the Boilermaker charge with 20 points on 5-5 shooting from 3-point territory.

Looks for Penn State to try and cut into that rebounding margin in this one to keep the scores low, when the Lions like them. Also look for them to beef up their defense on supplementary players like Smith, Kelsey Barlow and Lewis Jackson. Moore and forward JaJuan Johnson will get their points, but it's important for Penn State to make sure they don't let anyone else in on the action.

For more, check out Black Shoe Diaries.

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