Penn State was within seconds of its first Big Ten win.
But like so many times this season, the Nittany Lions walked away disappointed when the final buzzer sounded.
Purdue scored four points in the final 6.6 seconds as the Boilermakers rallied past the stunned Nittany Lions 65-64 on Saturday at Mackey Arena.
Penn State (9-10 overall, 0-6 Big Ten) dropped to 0-6 in games decided by three points or less this season, while Purdue (13-5, 3-2) improved to 6-1 in games decided by five points or less.
Tim Frazier led the Nittany Lions with 19 points and 10 rebounds and D.J. Newbill also had a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards.
Penn State appeared to have the contest locked up after outplaying Purdue down the stretch.
The score was tied at 53-53 with six minutes to go. Frazier had three points and Newbill nailed an elbow jump shot to put the Nittany Lions up 58-55 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
Neither team shot well from there, but Penn State was able to stay ahead primarily on foul shooting. The Nittany Lions were 6 of 7 from the line, while Purdue was 2 for 6 until in the final 1:25 before the final sequence.
Newbill sank two free throws to put the Nittany Lions ahead 64-61 with 17.2 seconds remaining. The Boilermakers, scrambling to get a 3-point shot to tie, worked the ball to left side where Terone Johnson drained a shot over Newbill to tie the game at 64-64 with 6.6 seconds left. The field goal was just Purdue’s second in the final six minutes.
Penn State pushed the ball upcourt and called timeout with 4.7 remaining to set up a potential game-winning shot, but the Nittany Lions never got one.
Ronnie Johnson broke up the inbounds pass and Purdue coach Matt Painter called timeout with 1.4 seconds left. The Boilermakers set up a lob to center A.J. Hammons, who was fouled on the catch by Ross Travis with 1.2 seconds left. Hammons made the first free throw and missed the second intentionally. Frazier fired up a shot from well behind halfcourt but it was wide right as the buzzer sounded.
Terone Johnson led the Boilermakers with 14 points. Kendall Stephens and Basil Smotherman added 12 each.
Frazier made a free throw early in the second half before Smotherman and Bryson Scott scored to give Purdue a 39-34 lead.
But the Boilermakers couldn’t break away.
Newbill made a 3-pointer to make it 39-37 with 15:53 remaining and later Newbill drove to the basket to tie the game at 39. Ross Travis scored to give the Nittany Lions a 41-39 lead with 12:28 left to play.
Stephens hit a 3-pointer to regain the lead and Errick Peck scored to make it 44-41 midway through the second half.
In the first half, Purdue made five shots from behind the arc with Stephens nailing three of them.
Stephens 3-pointer gave Purdue an 18-9 lead with 11:25 left in the first half before the Nittany Lions made a run to tie the game.
Penn State had six 3-pointers in the half to fuel a rally. Frazier’s layup capped a 9-0 run to tie the game at 26 with 3:56 remaining in the half.
Smotherman‘s 3-point play helped Purdue take a 35-33 lead at the break.
Penn State held the Boilermakers to 31.6 percent shooting (18 for 57) for the game.
The Nittany Lions shot 22 of 60 (36.7 percent). They cooled off from long distance, going 1 for 9 from 3-point range in the second half.
Newbill started 1 for 10 from the floor, but finished 6 for 19. Before fouling out, Donovon Jack held Hammons without a field goal and rejected five shots.
The Nittany Lions return to action Thursday with an 8 p.m. clash against Nebraska at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Notes: Penn State fell to 11-30 all-time against Purdue. ... Frazier movied past Freddie Barnes to 11th on the PSU career scoring list with 1,354. He is 10 points short of Titus Ivory for 10th. ... Newbill has scored in double figures in 17 of 19 games. ... Penn State is 1-5 when just two players score in double figures.