Penn State Basketball guts out must win game over Northwestern

Penn State Nittany Lions forward John Harrar (21) and guard Izaiah Brockington ((Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports)
Penn State Nittany Lions forward John Harrar (21) and guard Izaiah Brockington ((Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports) /

Penn State Basketball picked up a must win game at home Saturday night, edging out Northwestern 81-78, extending their winning streak to two games.

Penn State Basketball is on the last leg of four games in seven days after a two week isolation period due to issues with Covid-19 within the program.

After defeating Rutgers at home on Thursday, the Nittany Lions looked fresh despite the brutal schedule and hang on to beat Northwestern 81-78 at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Penn State Basketball’s returns to action, hosting No.10 ranked Wisconsin on Wednesday night,

For the second straight game, junior Izaiah Brockington led the Lions in scoring with 21 points on six of thirteen shooting. Brockington also had four rebounds and two assists on the night.

Junior guard Sam Sessoms provided a much needed spark off the bench in the first half and finished with an efficient 12 points on five of eight field goal attempts. Down the stretch it was forward Seth Lundy who got hot and hit a few key three pointers when it looked like Northwestern would run away with things. Lundy finished with 16 points and seven boards.

Penn State Basketball leads the Big Ten with eight and a half steals per game and were at it again Saturday night with 10 steals  and forcing 14 total turnovers for the Wildcats. Their ability to trun defense into offense in transition was crucial in the second half as Northwestern shot just under 50% from behind the arc.

In typical Penn State Basketball fashion they made things more interesting than they had to be down the stretch. With a minute to go, the Nittany Lions were up six and looked to be in firm control until they missed the front end of a one-and-one on three straight possessions allowing Northwestern to claw their way back into it.

Ultimately, a win is a win and one that felt like the Lions had to have. They now sit at 5-6, 2-5 in conference play but have played the 2nd toughest schedule in the country according to Kenpom.

Things will not get much easier in their next contest with 10th ranked Wisconsin on Wednesday, however, a win in that one and the season could be right back on track for a potential March Madness birth.

Next. Taking stock of Penn State Basketball's season. dark