Purdue 80 Pennsylvania State 60 | The Mason Gillis Game

Mason Gillis had been pushed to the bench after missing a game with illness, but continued to provide a big bench presence for Purdue. That hard work, perseverance and great attitude led to a game that Purdue fans will fondly remember as “the Mason Gillis game” where he went 9-12 from behind the arc for 29 points and set the record. of Mackey Arena for most three-pointers touched. in a game. Mason Gillis’ 29 points are the most for an off-bench player in a major conference all season.

During the first half, Purdue could relate to the different looks Penn State was throwing at Purdue after struggling early as Penn State ran man-to-man, 2-3 zone and even a triable-2. Eventually, Purdue built a 12-point lead at 6:35 with the score at 30-18 before the end of the half returned. Behind an 11-5 run in those 6:35 finals, Penn State managed to shoot 35-29 late in the first half, led by Michael Henn’s 11 points on 3-6 shots from behind the arc.

In the second half, it was an entirely different story as Purdue pounced on the Nittany Lions within the first 9 minutes of the second half, scoring 26 points and taking a 61-35 point lead. It was in this race that Mason Gillis really started to warm up. After going 4-7 in the first half from deep, Gillis went 5-5 in the second half and extended Purdue’s lead in that time frame before finally heading to the bench with about 3 minutes left in the game and Purdue looking to mount their lead at the end. To set the Mackey Arena Purdue record, Gillis came in from the right corner and then used an Ethan Morton screen to get some separation on the right arc to hit his 9th three-pointer.

Braden Smith also had a moment in the second half where he took control of the game from the point guard position and frequently took a high ball screen from Edey or TKR to get into the paint and find the big ones on a roll or find shooters on the outside. In the 11th minute of the second half, Kaufman-Renn set a high ball screen for Smith who then used a TKR re-screen to get into the lane, dribbled past right, then looked at the defense for a switches to a TKR dive for a lay-up. Smith finished the game with 9 assists and 9 points, but mostly 0 turnovers.

It was a big game for Gillis but another incredibly consistent game for Zach Edey who finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds on 7-9 shooting from the field. Edey made the right decision all night long when the double teams came to him to spin the ball to find the open shooter. Edey again managed to get Penn State to pay a high ball screen to Smith who found it multiple times for lob dunks coming straight into the lane.

It was a game where Purdue, after a few weeks of seeing pieces put together, started making all of those pieces work together. Purdue had just 7 turnovers, shot 45.2% from behind the arc, outscored their opponent 38-19 and had 19 assists. Purdue is now 22-1, 11-1 in conference and appears to have hit its stride in the last 8 games with a 3 game lead. Improvement has happened continuously over this season and the fact remains that there is still a ceiling to be reached for this team as Brandon Newman can still find his attacking game, Caleb Furst has not still really exploded offensively and David Jenkins is right now. looking more like his old self from behind the arc.

Purdue plays Indiana in what could very well be one of the rivalry’s biggest games of the past 25 years. Purdue, with a win on Saturday, will maintain at least a 3 game lead with just 7 games left and cement it with another Q1 win on the road.

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