Wynter spoils Northwestern senior night, Penn State take down Wildcats
Freshman forward Evan Mahaffey grabs the offensive board, but swings it out and helps find senior guard Cam Wynter, who pulls from the corner with less than three seconds left in overtime and buries the triple, lifting Penn State over the Northwestern Wildcats 68-65 in Evanston Wednesday night.
The Drexel transfer had 24 points on 9-15 shooting, with his final 18 points coming in the second half and overtime. The total brings him two points shy of his season high of 26 points against the Loyola Maryland Greyhounds.
“They’ve responded every single time, and our leadership and our poise came through,” coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “And I’m a way better coach with a guy like Cam Wynter sitting next to me.”
Early, the Nittany Lions looked uncomfortable with the pressure Northwestern was putting on the guards around the perimeter. Penn State gave up nine turnovers in the first half alone, helping the Wildcats to a 28-24 lead heading into the locker rooms.
“They’re aggressive,” the second year head coach said. “They get in passing lanes. They deny some things. They rotate really well. It took us a while to adjust to that.”
Down six with five minutes left in the second half, Wynter hit a fadeaway shot in the paint, cutting the lead to four points. Him and guard Andrew Funk each contributed buckets in the final 4:31 of regulation, with Funk almost ending the game before the ball rattled out of the rim.
During the extra period, the senior guard took over, making six of the eight points Penn State scored in overtime. The biggest one was the dagger to give Penn State their fourth Quad 1 win this season, keeping their tournament hopes alive after a 19-point blown lead to Rutgers Sunday.
“No matter how the game goes, everyone just kind of flips the page and keeps working gets back into the gym and puts that extra time in,” Wynter said. “I think that kind of showed off that we didn’t dwell too much on blowing a big lead. We came here and handled business.”
Wynter is heating up down the final stretch of the regular season, having double-figure points in his last four games, shooting 57% from the floor and 76% from beyond the arc. He adds another stellar performance to his Penn State career.
His production did not come alone, as Funk chipped in 17 points on 4-9 shooting from 3-point land and senior forward Seth Lundy added 14 points on 5-12 shooting and 4-9 from deep, grabbing six boards as well. Senior guard Jalen Pickett was held quiet for the majority of the game, having seven points on 3-8 shooting and 11 assists, helping facilitate the rest of the team.
“They were back in the gym on Monday morning, like Seth [Lundy] is back in the gym working on his game,” Shrewsberry said. “[Jalen] Pickett is back in the gym. Cam, Funk, all those guys were in there. So they picked themselves up.”
On Sunday, the Nittany Lions head back home to the Bryce Jordan Center for Senior Day, hosting the No. 21 Maryland Terrapins at noon. Penn State looks to add one more Quad 1 victory before heading off to Chicago to play in the Big Ten Tournament.
Jonathan Draeger is a third-year broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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