Camren Wynter scores 24, including a game winning three, to push Penn State Basketball to victory in overtime.
Penn State Basketball kept its NCAA Tournament hopes alive with a 68-65 overtime win over Northwestern thanks to a Cam Wynter 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds remaining.
Following Sunday’s disappointing collapse against Rutgers, Penn State Basketball looked to bounce back against the Northwestern Wildcats. The Nittany Lions traveled to a sold-out Welsh-Ryan Arena for the Wildcats’ senior night in another must-win game.
Following the worst shooting game of his career, Seth Lundy started the game by scoring the first 5 points for Penn State. Unfortunately, Penn State basketball’s offense was nonexistent down the stretch on Sunday, and it looked similar to start this one. The Nittany Lions started 2-of-7 from the field as Northwestern led 10-5 at the first media timeout.
Northwestern would continue their early dominance and extend the run to 11 to push the lead to 14-5. Eventually, Kanye Clary would make a bucket to end the run. On this bucket, Pickett would pick up another assist which would break the Penn State single season assist mark. Another impressive milestone for Pickett as his incredible season continues.
Northwestern’s stout defense was the story of much of the first half. They forced 8 Penn State turnovers in the first 10 minute of the game. Penn State had more turnovers than points as it looked like this one could get out of hand early.
Finally, Penn State basketball’s offense would show signs of life as the team quickly went on a 12-3 run to cut the deficit to 1. Penn State was 0-7 in games trailing at halftime coming into tonight, a streak they would need to break if they wanted a win. Northwestern led at the half 28-24 in what was a very sloppy and defensive-minded game. Truthfully, Penn State was very lucky to only be down by four.
Wynter came out strong after the break and gave Penn State their first lead since very early in the contest. The defense also came out strong, as they were hustling all over the court and making life difficult for Northwestern’s shooters. The defense and Wynter led Penn State to an 8-0 run and a 37-33 lead.
The game would continue to be sloppy as both teams struggled to solve the opposing team’s defense. Suddenly, with about 8 minutes left to play, both offenses came to life. The teams traded basket for basket, as the players started to make difficult contest shots and the intensity of the game picked up.
Pickett would continue to pick apart the defense with precise passing, while Wynter led the way in the scoring department. For Northwestern, Buie and Barnhizer combined for 39 points while defensive player of the year candidate Audige made life difficult for Pickett.
Eventually we would find ourselves tied at 61 with 3.3 seconds left. Penn State Basketball held for the final shot and the inbounds pass went to Pickett. The defense collapsed on him, and he dished it back out to Funk for an open 3 which unfortunately fell short. We head to overtime.
Both defenses continued to play great in the overtime period. Penn State would also miss some critical free throws which would prevent them from taking the lead. Overall, this was a sloppy but very entertaining game.
Once again we found ourselves tied with the ball in Pickett’s hands as the clock winded down. Pickett attempted a mid range jumper, it bounced off the rim and Evan Mahaffey would come up with a huge offensive rebound despite several Northwestern defenders being around him. The scramble would then result in a cross-court pass to Wynter wide open in the corner for a game winning three with .7 left on the clock. Buie would put up a desperate heave which hits the rim but ultimately bounces out and the Nittany Lions win a wild one in Evanston.
This was a massive quad-1 win for Penn State Basketball and hopefully keeps their tournament chances alive. Additionally, it also puts them one step closer to obtaining a bye in the Big Ten tournament.
Penn State will close out the regular season on Sunday with senior day against No. 21 ranked Maryland. Hopefully the team can continue the momentum from tonight into a massive, ranked win to end the season.