Purdue escaped State College on Tuesday night largely unscathed, claiming a 74-70 overtime win against Penn State; star forward Caleb Swanigan wasn’t so lucky.
The Boilermakers, ranked 14th in the AP poll, have played like a Final Four team for much of the regular season, with an offense boasting efficient three-point shooting—Purdue shoots 41.3 percent from behind the arc—and the ability to rely on dominant post play from Swanigan and his 7-foot-2 cohort Isaac Haas. The pair average 32 points and 18.3 rebounds per night; 12.9 of those boards belong to Swanigan, who is a among the favorites to take home the Wooden Award as college basketball’s player of the year.
The only facet of post play they don’t excel at is blocking shots. (Anytime you’re ranked 272nd in the nation at something, it’s usually not a good thing.) And this is unfortunate, at least for Swanigan, because Penn State freshman forward Lamar Stevens seems to have noticed.
Swanigan wasn’t the first man to get yammed on by Stevens, and he won’t be the last. The Boilermaker big man can rest easy, though: While it took five minutes longer than it should have, Tuesday’s win pushed Purdue to 23-5 overall and gave them a half-game lead over Wisconsin in the Big Ten.