It’s been a rare occasion this season for the Penn State Nittany Lions to have a game go so well as it did on Thursday night at Northwestern. In a battle between the two teams at the bottom of the Big Ten Conference, the Nittany Lions routed the Wildcats 59-32 on their home floor. The loss was Northwestern’s seventh in a row and Penn State’s second in its last three games.
This game was never close, as the Penn State defense was stifling all night and held Northwestern to a measly 23 percent shooting from the floor. The Nittany Lions shot well, finishing 50 percent from the field. They also won the rebound battle 38-31.
In a continuing trend, guard D.J. Newbill led the Nittany Lions in scoring with 12 points. He’s the third-leading scorer in the conference and has really been effective in the last few games of the season. Senior point guard Tim Frazier, who’s nearing the end of his collegiate career, has struggled a bit over the last few games. He did play a solid game in this one though, scoring 11 points and dishing out seven assists, a category he leads the conference in.
When Penn State was struggling this season, it was not getting much production from any of the guys down low. The team relied heavily on Frazier and Newbill to produce. Lately, forwards Ross Travis and Brandon Taylor have really stepped up, giving the Nittany Lions a more balanced attack. Travis, one of the best rebounders in the conference, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds against the Wildcats. Taylor continued his hot streak, scoring 11 points and pulling down five boards.
Guard John Johnson added productivity off the bench with eight points and two rebounds.
The Wildcats were completely dominated and failed to get anything going against the Nittany Lions. Seven-foot center Alex Olah led Northwestern with 14 points and added five rebounds. The team’s leading scorer for the season, Drew Crawford, was limited to just six points in this contest.
For Penn State, the victory brings its season record to .500 at 15-15. The Nittany Lions will look to string together back-to-back wins in the regular season finale at Minnesota on March 9th.
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