No sequence was more telling of Penn State's upset win against No. 14 Purdue Tuesday night than the first 60 seconds.
Five Nittany Lion offensive rebounds on their opening possession capped off by a Talor Battle 3-point play.
More than a minute passed when Purdue had its first possession. Then, it lasted all of three seconds when senior guard Stanley Pringle stole the ball.
Penn State (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten) blitzed the Boilermakers with a 14-0 run to start game and out-rebounded them 41-27 en route to a 67-64 win Tuesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. With Purdue's Robbie Hummel -- the Big Ten's second-leading rebounder with eight per game -- out with back spasms, the Lions pulled down a season-high 22 offensive boards, turning them into 18 second-chance points in the upset victory.
"A lot of the rebounds were hustle plays, long rebounds, scrapping," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "Battle's proven sometimes it's chasing the ball as well as getting it above the rim. Whenever there was a 50/50 play and the ball was loose, Penn State got the majority of those, and that's how you're gonna win games."
The biggest benefactor of the Lions' sub-40 percent shooting night was sophomore center Andrew Jones, maybe because his coach spent all week at practice talking up the Boilermaker's big man.
Jones finished with 11 rebounds; eight kept a possession alive.
"For two days in practice, he's heard me talking about how wonderful JaJuan Johnson is," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said. "I guess he was tired of me telling him how wonderful the kid was, and that's a competitive person."
Trailing the whole first half and much of the second, Purdue (11-4, 0-2) chipped away at the Lions' lead with well-timed sets and efficient foul shooting. The Lions early 17-2 lead was an afterthought when Purdue led by as many as four with 10:21 to play in regulation.
Purdue's next basket came more than eight minutes later.
That's when this team fleshed out how it's different from a year ago when it would hang with teams for most of the game, only to succumb in the closing minutes.
Late in the game, Battle drove right, dipped and ducked but was blocked by Johnson.
Up just three with less than 30 seconds remaining Battle drove right again, went up and wrapped the ball around the defender to Jones who finished with a 3-point play that wound up being the winning basket.
But the leap in maturity delves into psyche, not just X's and O's.
"Last year when we were freshmen, we all would've been jumping up and running around the gym after we beat the 14th ranked team in the country," Battle said. "Now we really just expect to win. We feel we can play with anybody."