West Lafayette, Ind. — Matt Haarms gave No. 12 Purdue a boost of energy. Carsen Edwards added the scoring punch.
Together, they were a knockout combination.
Edwards scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half Saturday and Haarms celebrated his return to the starting lineup with a career-high 18 to lead the Boilermakers past pesky Penn State, 76-64.
“I thought he played well,” coach Matt Painter said of Haarms. “He had a couple blocked shots but I thought he changed some shots too down there. He was good for us on both ends and obviously that big 3 at the end closed the deal for us.”
Purdue (18-7, 11-3 Big Ten) regained a share of the conference lead with its ninth win in 10 games. And it needed everything Edwards and Haarms could muster in an uncharacteristic performance.
The Boilermakers committed a season-high 23 turnovers. Edwards, meanwhile, managed only one basket over the final 13 1/2 minutes of the first half.
So Haarms took advantage of his second start since mid-December by providing some spunk. Haarms got the crowd revved up after falling to the floor after he and John Harrar locked arms. No call was made.
But the cascading boos quickly turned into roaring cheers when Haarms drew a foul at the other end and made two free throws to give Purdue a 33-30 halftime lead.
It was just the start.
Haarms then teamed up with Edwards to score nine points in a decisive 14-2 run early in the second half to make it 50-34.
The Nittany Lions (9-16, 2-12) never completely recovered. They scored six straight to make it 50-40 and got as close as 61-56 after a three-point play from Josh Reaves before Purdue closed it out with an 8-0 run.
“Haarms and their bench really did a good job,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “I thought they really stepped up and won the battle.”
It was an odd game, too.
The Big Ten’s two top scorers — Edwards and Lamar Stevens — both played through foul trouble and combined for 15 turnovers. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions made three 3-pointers in the first four minutes and only two the rest of the game.
Stevens finished with 18 points for Penn State.
And with Purdue throwing the ball away and Edwards struggling, Haarms helped the Boilermakers scrap their way back – until Edwards’ final flurry.
“When he (Edwards) made that first dribble-up 3-pointer, it gets him going,” Painter said, referring to the first basket of the second half. “That’s what he’s got to be able to do is get a couple things for himself to get him going.”
No. 21 Iowa 71, (at) Rutgers 69: Iowa is living by the last-second shot these days. Joe Wieskamp banked in a 3-pointer from the corner with less than a second to play and the Hawkeyes (20-5, 9-5 Big Ten) won their fourth straight game.
The game-winning shot came less than a week after Jordan Bohannon nailed a 23-foot, 3-pointer in the final second to beat Northwestern 80-79 last Sunday.
The Scarlet Knights appeared on the verge of their second upset of a ranked team this season when Gio Baker got a friendly role on a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3.3 seconds to play to put Rutgers (12-13, 5-10 Big Ten) ahead 69-68.
After Iowa called a time out, Connor McCaffrey threw a length of the court pass that Rutgers' Eugene Omoruyi and Iowa deflected. The ball went to Wieskamp in the corner next to the Hawkeyes' bench and his off-balance, high-arching shot hit off the top left-hand corner of the backboard and went in the basket, setting off a wild celebration on the Iowa bench.
(At) Minnesota 84, Indiana 63: Though several critical weeks remain in Jordan Murphy's career at Minnesota, the Gophers have already found themselves thinking about how soon their indefatigable big man is going to be gone. This was one of those games to savor.
With Murphy muscling his way to 23 points and 11 rebounds and Gabe Kalscheur going 6-for-8 from 3-point range, Minnesota stopped a four-game losing streak.
Murphy had 17 points in the first half and his 18th double-double of the season.
Amir Coffey added 18 points for the Gophers (17-9, 7-8), who built a lead as big as 30 points during a smooth second half that had an intrasquad-scrimmage vibe as the Hoosiers took their 10th loss in their last 11 games. The worst 3-point shooting team in the Big Ten, Minnesota made a season-high 12 shots in 22 attempts from long range en route to its largest winning margin in 33 conference games since an 89-67 victory over Rutgers on Dec. 3, 2017.
Kalscheur finished with 20 points and helped Coffey stifle Indiana star Romeo Langford with a quiet 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting. Juwan Morgan led the Hoosiers (13-12, 4-10) with 14 points and eight rebounds and Al Durham added 12 points, but they finished a season-worst 2-for-17 from 3-point range.
(At) Nebraska 59, Northwestern 50: Isaiah Roby had a double-double, but that wasn't all he contributed to the victory.
"He had those two blocks early and kind of sent a message," said Nebraska coach Tim Miles. Then he went away for a while from that rim protection type of thing. But boy he ended the game with a flourish. Just look at his line – 19 points, it wouldn't have been hard to have more than that, he has 16 rebounds, five offensive. He has five blocks, two assists, two steals, no fouls.”
Nebraska (15-11, 5-10 Big 10) has won consecutive games since snapping a seven-game skid. Northwestern (12-13, 3-11) has lost six straight.