Penn State Falls To Northwestern 71-61 On Senior Night
Penn State Men’s basketball (15-14, 6-10 Big Ten) returned to the Bryce Jordan Center for Senior Night to take on Northwestern following a blowout loss against Michigan State on Sunday. The Wildcats (18-11, 6-10 Big Ten) came in looking to gain an edge over the Nittany Lions in a race for a first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament. For the first time in weeks, the away team was successful in the BJC as Northwestern took down Penn State 71-61.
How It Happened
Both teams came out hot from three-point range in a high-scoring early part of the game. Defensive stops came at a premium and the Nittany Lions struggled to slow down Northwestern’s offense, but good offensive possessions creating a couple easy baskets for Penn State allowed the Nittany Lions to keep up the pace.
Mid-way through the half the Nittany Lions’ shooters went cold and Northwestern embarked on a 7-0 run to open up the lead. The Wildcats continued to launch from beyond the arc, and the shots kept falling with Northwestern starting the game 6-10 from three-point range.
Northwestern wrapped up the half dismantling a out-matched Penn State team. The Nittany Lions struggled to score and had no answer for a Wildcats team that had one of their highest scoring halves of the season. As the buzzer rang, Northwestern added one more basket, heading into the locker room up 42-27.
Much like the end of the first half, Penn State struggled to score points to open the second half. Payton Banks knocked down the team’s first basket of the half nearly five minutes deep. Penn State, however, was not the only team to come out of the locker room with offensive woes. Northwestern struggled to get its offensive attack going which kept the Nittany Lions alive for a stretch.
The Nittany Lions made their move midway through the second half, going on a run to bring Northwestern’s lead back down to single digits. The defense from Penn State stepped up a notch and every shot they took fell to quickly erase a once 20 point deficit.
Northwestern managed to hold the Nittany Lions to get just within a couple possessions of tying the game. The baskets stopped falling for Penn State and so did its chances of completing a huge comeback win as the Nittany Lions fell to Northwestern 71-61.
Player Of The Game
Tre Demps | Senior | Guard
Northwestern’s leading scorer Tre Demps invaded a senior night made for Penn State athletes with a huge night of his own. Demps put up 23 points on the way to a 71-61 win over the Nittany Lions.
The Nittany Lions will play their final game of the season against Illinois in the BJC. The game will tip-off at noon on Sunday and will be shown live on BTN.