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Penn State Outlasts Northwestern In Overtime 68-65

Penn State men’s basketball (18-12, 9-10 Big Ten) finished the job in overtime against Northwestern (20-10, 11-8) on Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena, beating the Wildcats 68-65.

In a back-and-forth game through 45 minutes, a Camren Wynter corner three-pointer ultimately decided the final outcome. Wynter led all scorers with 24 points on a highly-efficient 4-of-5 clip from deep. Seth Lundy also reached double figures with 14 points and a block. In an otherwise quiet night, Jalen Pickett broke Tim Frazier’s single-season assist record after dropping 11 dimes in tonight’s contest.

Boo Buie and Brooks Barnhizer led the Wildcats with 20 and 19 points, respectively. Barnhizer had a career-high in points and shot an impressive 5-of-7 mark from deep.

How It Happened

Boo Buie found Chase Audige for a three-pointer on Northwestern’s second possession to kick the scoring off. After going without a shot for a minute and a half, Seth Lundy drove the baseline and finished with a slam for Penn State’s first bucket. On the Nittany Lion’s next possession, Lundy used the backboard as assistance for a step-back three.

Then, the Wildcats scored seven unanswered points, courtesy of two layups from Buie and a three-pointer from Ty Berry. After another empty possession for Penn State, the first media timeout was called.

The scoring continued for Northwestern, as it added four more to the run following the timeout. After nearly five minutes without a bucket, Kanye Clary drove, stopped, and popped a free-throw line jumper for the Nittany Lions. After a Wildcat miss in response, the second media timeout was called at the 11:58 mark.

Coming off the timeout, Brooks Barnhizer swished a three to secure a double-digit lead for Northwestern. After another five-minute scoring drought, Andrew Funk nailed a three-pointer for his first basket of the game. A few possessions later, Berry responded with one of his own and reclaimed the Wildcats’ 10-point lead.

Penn State quickly jumped out to a 12-3 run with a collective effort from Wynter, Funk, Lundy, and Jalen Pickett. Northwestern called a timeout at the 2:57 mark, as it held onto a 23-22 lead.

Tydus Verhoeven and Wynter traded layups following the timeout. Beran then knocked down a triple with a minute left of first-half action. Pickett stole the ball with 10 seconds left, and after a brief timeout, Funk missed a three before the buzzer sounded.

Northwestern held onto a 28-24 lead at the end of the first half.

Wynter splashed a triple that kicked off the second half. After an empty possession, it was Wynter again who scored with a pull-up jumper as the Nittany Lions claimed their first lead since the beginning minutes of the contest.

Then, the star backcourt sparked the Wildcats, as Buie and Audige added a triple and a layup. On the other side of the court, Funk hit the layup and got the foul but missed the free throw. A few moments later, Funk made up for it, as he cashed in on a three-pointer as Penn State reclaimed the lead.

On its next possession, Lundy knocked down a corner three and Northwestern called a timeout as the Nittany Lions held a 37-33 with 15:57 left to play.

After a few minutes of scoreless action, the Wildcats scored seven unanswered points with five of them coming from Buie. Wynter quickly marched down the court and scored at the rim. Barnhizer and Dread then traded triples before the second media timeout was called at the 10:37 mark, as Northwestern had a 43-42 lead.

Buie hit a tough jumper off the glass, and Barnhizer splashed a wide-open three coming off the timeout. Pickett responded with a contested layup on the other side of the court. A minute later, following a Clary foul, another media timeout was called as the Wildcats remained up by three.

Barnhizer hit another triple off the timeout, but it was quickly answered by Lundy who squeezed one through the iron circle. Berry and Pickett then traded buckets before Barnhizer drilled another three pointer. Wynter backed his way in the post for a score, as Penn State trailed by four in the final five minutes.

Buie knocked down a tough jumper, and on the other side of the court, Funk knocked down a deep three before the final media timeout of the game was called. With 3:44 left of action, Northwestern was up 58-55.

A minute after the timeout, Pickett found Wynter in the corner for a three that tied the game. After a Northwestern miss, Funk banged home a wide-open triple that took the lead for Penn State. Berry quickly responded with a jumper that was called a goal tend on Evan Mahaffey. Northwestern had the ball and called a timeout with 39 seconds left.

The Wildcats missed on its shot and fouled Pickett on the top of the key with 8.1 seconds left to go. After a quick inbound, Pickett was fouled again with 3.3 seconds left, and Penn State called another timeout. Funk had a wide-open three-point look at the hoop, but failed to convert as the time expired.

Penn State and Northwestern were tied at 61 with the game headed into overtime.

Barnhizer started the overtime with two free throws. On the other side of the court, Wynter splashed a three for Penn State. Buie followed it up with a driving layup, as the Wildcats held onto a one-point lead with two minutes left.

Mahaffey got fouled under the rim and made one free throw that tied this game up with 1:30 left of action. After a turnover from Northwestern, Penn State had possession with 35 seconds left. Pickett dribbled the ball and missed, but Mahaffey secured the offensive rebound. Funk then found Wynter in the corner and he knocked down the game-winning triple with 0.5 seconds left.

Northwestern had a chance at the end, but its shot rimmed out as Penn State escaped with the win, 68-65.

Takeaways

  • This game was in Penn State’s taking the whole way through. Although the Nittany Lions remained down for the majority of the game, Micah Shrewsberry’s group closed out a quad-one road win in the waning minutes. Camren Wynter’s game-winning shot was a sign to everyone that we are in March. Wynter might’ve just saved Penn State’s season.
  • Evan Mahaffey may have had the play of his career at Penn State with the offensive rebound that led to Wynter’s game-winning shot. Despite his recent struggles, Mahaffey may have just bought this Penn State team another chance, and it’s a huge sign for the future of Penn State hoops.
  • Jalen Pickett broke the single-season assists record in the first half of tonight’s contest, which was previously held by Tim Frazier in 2012. Pickett now has 209 assists on the season, making it just another thing to add to the laundry list of accomplishments completed through his final collegiate season.

What’s Next

Penn State will play its final game of the regular season this Sunday, March 5 against No. 21 Maryland at the Bryce Jordan Center. Tip-off is set at noon and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Tobey Prime

Tobey is a senior studying broadcast journalism from Lancaster, PA. He is a major Pittsburgh sports fan and Miami Heat fanatic. When Tobey isn't writing for Onward State, you can catch him looking at photos of his pugs. Send your best insults to [email protected] or sports takes to @tobey_prime on Twitter.

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