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.
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