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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.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.