22 February, 2018
The Penn State softball team was unable to pick up a win on day one of the Big Ten / ACC Challenge, falling to Virginia Tech 1-0 and Duke 7-5 Friday, Feb. 16.
Purdue's final games come Thursday at IL and Sunday versus Minnesota. Edwards and teammate Carsen Edwards are among the 20 finalists for the Wooden National Player of the Year Award. Duke added one final security run in the bottom of the sixth inning to go up 7-5 and force the second Penn State pitching change of the game.
The Nittany Lions stuck around with the Boilermakers through the first ten minutes of the contest, mostly due to a hot start from behind the arc.
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He then hit senior center Isaac Haas with a great pass on the ensuing possession, and the post player drew a foul and eventually put Purdue up four.
Sophomore sparkplug Carsen Edwards scored one away from his career high with 27 points, including a pair of free throws with 2.3 seconds left, to lead the Boilermakers past the Nittany Lions. That was something we were searching for the last couple days, the last couple weeks. Freshman guard Nojel Eastern has also played brief minutes at the "4" when needed.
With just over three minutes remaining, the Boilermakers led by three and got a defensive stop, which was sealed with an Eifert rebound. He did play through an injury to the same ankle during Purdue's silver medal run as Team USA in the World University Games.
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The rankings could certainly change before the field of 68 is selected on March 11 with more than 1,000 games yet to be played. Auburn's only losses this season have come against teams rated 17th (Texas A&M), 33rd (Alabama) and 39th in the RPI (Temple).
While Penn State will play OSU tough on their home floor, they cannot expect to see the same results from deep they saw three weeks ago when they defeated Ohio State 82-79. That malaise continued into the first half Sunday.
Thus, we could look at the history of the Penn State-Ohio State series.
Sucese provided the equalizer for Penn State 3:39 later only for the KHL line to propel the Spartans back into the lead within minutes. Edwards helped his team close the gap late in the first half with a flurry of excellent shot-making, slicing the halftime deficit to just four at 36-32. His surge contributed to a 21-6 run for the Boilermakers to open the second half, as the Boilers built the lead up to 11 points with 12:34 left.
In overall points scored, the Buckeyes hold a slim five-point/goal advantage, when you count volleyball's scores as games won, not overall scores for each match (i.e., a 3-0 win gets PSU three points). Purdue responded with a dunk in traffic from Edwards and huge 3 from Ryan Cline, his first basket in four games, to retake the lead with just less than five minutes left.
The game was scoreless through the first three innings until Sloniger lifted a 1-1 pitch over the right field wall in the fourth.
Purdue inbounded the ball to Edwards, Carsen Edwards that is, who hit the final two free throws to seal it.