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Jan. 7, 1998
No. 9 Purdue Uses Strong Defense to Beat Penn State
|Chad Austin led the Boilermakers with 15 points. (File Photo)|
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - No. 9 Purdue, battling problems on offense, turned to its defense Wednesday night and beat Penn State 77-55.
The Boilermakers capitalized on 21 turnovers, including 10 steals, and held the Nittany Lions to just 35 percent shooting.
Chad Austin led the Boilermakers with 15 points, while Brad Miller had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Reserves Gyasi Cline-Heard and Greg Grays each had 12 points for Penn State.
Purdue (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten) broke the game open with a 22-6 run as the Nittany Lions (7-5, 0-2) had only two field goals in a six-minute span during the first half.
Purdue hit only four of its first 22 shots and trailed 12-9 following two free throws by Jarrett Stephens. Purdue then scored six straight points to take the lead for good.
Penn State had 12 turnovers and shot 26 percent (6-of-23) in the first half. Three of the turnovers came as Purdue pulled ahead with a 10-2 run with the Nittany Lions getting their only points on free throws.
Brian Cardinal started the run by making two free throws with 6:16 left in the first half, giving the Boilermakers a 17-14 lead. Mike Robinson scored three straight baskets for Purdue, which took a 31-18 lead on a 3-pointer by Alan Eldridge with 3:35 remaining in the half.
The Boilermakers boosted their field goal percentage on layups following turnovers to lead 38-20 at halftime despite shooting only 34 percent (14-of-41).
Austin, who needs just three more 3-pointers to become Purdue's career leader, then had two as the Boilermakers outscored Penn State 15-2 to start the second half. Penn State went nearly seven minutes before getting its first field goal of the half while falling behind 53-22.