Lions Earn Second Conference Win Against Wildcats

Story posted March 7, 2013 in CommRadio, Sports by Jason Shawley

The Penn State Nittany Lions (10-19 overall, 2-15 Big Ten) picked up a late season 66-59 conference win Thursday night against Northwestern in Evanston. 

Since starting the conference season 0-14, Penn State has won two out of three including a shocking upset against fourth-ranked Michigan last week at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Penn State started the game with a hot hand, taking an early 12-0 lead at the Welsh-Ryan Arena. D.J. Newbill kicked off the Nittany Lion scoring with three field goals to give Penn State an early 7-0 lead. It took Northwestern over five minutes to score their first points. Kale Abrahamson put the Wildcats on the board with a 3-point jumper with 14:51 left in the first half.

After Nick Colella responded with a 3-pointer, Northwestern responded with an 11-0 run of their own. With the Nittany Lions holding a slim 15-14 lead, Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers took a timeout. Following the stoppage, the Lions scored six straight to take a 21-14 lead. With the exception of the two slim leads Northwestern held, Penn State controlled the basketball game the rest of the way.

Throughout the second half, Penn State made multiple attempts to pull away from the Wildcats though Northwestern was able to keep the game close to the end.

With 15:51 remaining in the second half, Penn State took a 41-30 lead on a 3-point jumper by Jermaine Marshall. Less than a minute later, D.J. Newbill added another 3-pointer to give the Lions a 44-32 lead.

Northwestern was quickly able to pull the Penn State lead back into single digits, then slowly chip away until they eventually took their last lead of the game, 54-53, with 6:15 remaining. Just 20 seconds later, Sasa Borovnjak regained the lead for the Nittany Lions. They didn’t give it up again.   

D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall led the way for the Nittany Lions, each tallying 18 points. Sasa Borovnjak added a double-double, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Ross Travis scored eight and Nick Colella finished with seven to round out the scoring for Penn State.

Alex Marcotullio led all Wildcats in scoring, putting up 22 in a losing effort. Reggie Hearn was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 11 points of his own.

After an abysmal shooting performance Saturday at Minnesota, Penn State bounced back, making 48.9% of their shots Thursday. Northwestern didn’t shoot quite as well, converting just 34.7% of their field goals.

Penn State closes out their regular season in State College Sunday against Wisconsin. Tipoff is at noon at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Jason Shawley is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email