Penn State couldn’t stop Caleb Swanigan and Purdue’s potent offense and couldn’t score to keep pace with the Boilermakers, either.
The Nittany Lions fell 77-52 to No. 21 Purdue on Saturday afternoon at Mackey Arena. Swanigan finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead four players in double figures for the Boilermakers. Carsen Edwards added 13 points, while Vince Edwards and Dakota Mathias each had 10.
Purdue (16-4, 5-2) started the game on an 18-4 run and closed the first half on a 17-3 run. The Boilermakers shot 57.7 percent in the first 20 minutes to take a 41-23 lead into the break.
“I would just say we were coming out ready to play,” Purdue’s Vince Edwards said. “Our goal is to win the Big Ten. Our focus is to take care of business.”
Josh Reaves was the lone player to reach double figures for Penn State, scoring 12 points on four 3-pointers. The Nittany Lions (11-9, 3-4 Big Ten) shot 31.3 percent from the field.
Swanigan’s first field goal extended Purdue’s early lead to 15-2. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound forward established position inside with 6-foot-6 forward Payton Banks on his left side and caught the entry pass with guard Tony Carr sliding into the paint to provide help. None of it affected Swanigan as he muscled his way to the rim for a finish.
He was just getting started.
Swanigan later drilled a 3-pointer to push the Boilermakers ahead 34-20, part of the strong finish to the first half after Penn State sliced the early 14-point deficit to four points.
“I was looking forward to seeing how we would respond,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “We responded early to their first run, but we never responded again late in the first half. We knew Purdue was one of the toughest teams in the league. We’ve known that for six years.”
The Boilermakers stayed hot in the second half.
After Vince Edwards hit Purdue’s first shot out of the break, Swanigan drained a jumper and swept across the lane for a hook shot over Penn State’s Mike Watkins, extending the lead to 47-25 and forcing a Nittany Lions timeout with 17:41 left.
The Boilermakers took their largest lead — 51-25 with 16:28 left — when Swanigan fed 7-foot-2 center Isaac Haas in the post for a finish.
Penn State never got going, shooting 34.4 percent in the final 20 minutes.
Notes: Penn State takes on No. 17 Wisconsin on the road at 9 p.m. Tuesday. … Swanigan went 8 for 12 from the field, contributing to Purdue’s efficient shooting performance (56.6 percent from the field). … Penn State shot 28.1 percent from the field in the first half. It was the third straight game that the Nittany Lions shot below 33 percent in the first 20 minutes. … Banks finished with nine points and went 3 for 9 from the field for Penn State. Shep Garner had six points on 3 of 9 shooting, including an 0-for-6 day from 3-point range. Carr (2 for 11) and Watkins (3 for 5) both had six points.