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Late Heroics Give Penn State Hoops 67-60 Win Over Northwestern On Senior Night

Penn State men’s basketball (12-13, 7-10 Big Ten) took down Northwestern (13-14, 6-12 Big Ten) 67-60 Friday night thanks to a late-game run. The game marked the second win over Northwestern for the Nittany Lions this season.

Dallion Johnson led the Nittany Lions late game and scored 15 points on Senior Night. Jalen Pickett pitched in 11 points, while John Harrar came down with 18 rebounds.

How It Happened

Northwestern won the opening tip and quickly capitalized with a fast two points. Northwestern then played solid defense, as a blocked shot from Miles Dread saw the shot clock run out on Penn State’s opening possession.

The Nittany Lions recovered, stopping Northwestern on the next drive and letting Jalen Pickett score from three-point range. The Wildcats followed with a three of their own.

Penn State and Northwestern went back and forth with one layup each. However, the Nittany Lions proceeded to miss two straight, while allowing for another basket from the Wildcats.

With the score at 9-5 for the Wildcats, John Harrar drove under the basket and made his layup, while drawing a foul. Harrar missed his free throw attempt, but made up for it with a defensive and two offensive rebounds. Nothing came of his board work, though, as the Nittany Lions failed to put up any more points before the first media timeout of the game.

Coming out of the break, Sam Sessoms made Penn State’s second and third three-pointers of the game, giving the Nittany Lions their second and third leads of the game. After both shots, Northwestern responded with a layup.

Both teams traded layups, followed by an airball by Northwestern’s Chase Audige that led to some chants by the Legion of Blue. Neither team put further points on the board before another media timeout at 15-15.

Coming out of the timeout, the Wildcats put up three points and three fouls. After failing to score on the first two fouls, Seth Lundy went on a 5-0 run for Penn State.

Penn State saw another scoring drought of nearly six minutes, while Northwestern put up 8 points of its own. Harrar ended the drought with a dunk, though the Wildcats put up two more free throws. Going into a Penn State timeout, Northwestern held a 28-22 lead after its 10-2 run. The score didn’t change by the end of the second half, as Northwestern missed its final shot going into the break.

Penn State started the scoring in the second half, as John Harrar made one of two free throw shots after being fouled under the basket. Penn State followed up with seven points to Northwestern’s four before a break.

Penn State went on an electric 10-4 run started off by a Pickett fast break, which gave the Nittany Lions a 40-37 lead — their first since 7:14 in the first half. Northwestern scored once more before the break as Penn State led 40-39.

Seth Lundy got the crowd going after the timeout with a quick three, but Northwestern responded with seven unanswered points before a foul on Harrar brought a media timeout.

Harrar missed his free throw, while Johnson was unable to get the Lions on track with a free throw miss of his own. Johnson redeemed himself with two corner threes to give Penn State the lead at 49-48. As the BJC crowd erupted, Northwestern called an emergency timeout to try and slow down Johnson and the Penn State offense.

While Northwestern regained the lead with two free throws, Penn State brought it back with an 8-0 run as Northwestern called another timeout.

Sessoms and Harrar essentially closed the game out for Penn State with a huge three followed by a huge block, respectively, for the Lions.

Penn State looked like it might throw the game away as Northwestern went on a 7-2 run in the final minutes. However, free throws from Seth Lundy gave the Lions control back. Northwestern ended the game with wild shots and fouls as the BJC enjoyed a comfortable victory in the closing seconds.

Takeaways

  • Penn State needs to shoot faster. In the first half alone, the shot clock ran under five seconds six times. The Nittany Lions scored on just one of those possessions. Penn State cleaned its act up in the second half and wound the clock down just twice and scored once. Still, the team should look at it going forward.
  • Myles Dread needs to mix up his shooting. Dread started off the game shooting only three-pointers and went 0-for-4 before finally making a shot more than 10 minutes into the second half. Dread improved in the second half and went 2-for-4 after making his first shot, but continued to avoid shooting from inside the three-point line for the duration of the game.
  • Dallion Johnson can shoot! Despite failing to score once in the first half, Johnson redeemed himself in the second half by shooting 5-for-8 with 15 points. Johnson’s been one of the Lion’s best shooters this season, and on Friday, he reached 21 three-pointers made.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions are back home on Sunday, February 27, against Nebraska for their final home game of the regular season. Tip is set for 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a freshman journalism major at Penn State. He enjoys yelling into the void over things such as the Philadelphia Union, the United States Men's Nation Team (soccer), Eagles, and Penn State football, alongside whatever else comes to mind. Find (and disagree with him) on Twitter (Joe_Lister21).

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