Thanks in large part to a new career high for Matt Haarms, Purdue was able to record a win over Penn State in Mackey Arena on Saturday afternoon despite an ugly performance.
Haarms scored 18 points, including a game-sealing three-pointer, pushing the Boilermakers to a 76-64 win over the Nittany Lions. It was a new career high for the 7-foot-3 center. He also grabbed six rebounds in the victory.
Carsen Edwards was the only other player for Purdue to reached double figures, dropping a game-high 21 points.
Purdue started off the game in rough fashion, trailing 8-0 out of the gate. With 6:50 remaining in the first half, the Boilermakers took a 21-19 advantage for their first lead in the game. After going back and forth with Penn State for a good chunk of the half, Purdue then took a 31-28 lead with 1:51 to play in the first 20 minutes.
The Boilers never trailed again.
Purdue started the second half on a 17-4 run, building a 50-34 lead. The Boilers pushed the lead up to 17 points at 61-44, but Penn State made one final run late in the contest. The Nittany Lions pulled within five, going on an 12-0 run to close the gap to 61-56. A bucket from Grady Eifert and six made free throws from Ryan Cline, Haarms and Nojel Eastern helped put the game away.
With the win, Purdue improved to 11-3 in the conference and is just .5 games back of Michigan for first place. The Boilermakers are 18-7 overall.
Penn State fell to 9-16 on the year and 2-12 in B1G play.