Tony Carr struggles as Penn State's run ends in Big Ten semifinals
NEW YORK — Conference scoring leader Tony Carr was held to 12 points on 4-for-18 shooting, and Penn State lost 78-70 to No. 8 Purdue on Saturday in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
Shep Garner had 33 points to lead the Nittany Lions (21-12) with 33 points, who had a chance to work their way into the conversation for an NCAA at-large bid by beating Purdue but now seems like a long shot.
“Well, I'm an optimist,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “We have NCAA Tournament talent.”
Carsen Edwards scored 27 points for the Boilermakers (28-5), who will face No. 5 Michigan in the title game Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Purdue will be making its third appearance in the Big Ten championship since the tournament started in 1998. Their one championship came in 2009.
Against Penn State, Purdue used a 12-2 run the middle of the second half to build a 15-point lead. Edwards led the way, spinning through the lane for a driving layup and making a 3 from up top that made the score 59-44 with 9 minutes, 15 seconds left.
Edwards made back-to-back 3s to make it 74-56 with 3:41 left, and Purdue was on its way to play for a title. Edwards was 6 for 9 from 3, and Isaac Haas added 17 points and seven rebounds.
With Carr struggling, Penn State could not keep up. The sophomore faced an array of defenders, including Vincent Edwards, Nojel Eastern and P.J. Thompson. He picked up a third foul in the second half, a push-off call that caused Chambers to draw a technical.
“I think they were very physical,” Chambers said. “Obviously that's why I felt like I needed to get T'd up, my first T in a long, long time.”
Garner went 4 for 5 from 3-point range, including a four-point play, to carry Penn State in the first half. The Nittany Lions led much of the way, but Edwards made a 3 for Purdue with 2 seconds left in the half to send the Boilermakers to the break ahead 33-31.