Northwestern Game Grades
Penn State got their first Big Ten win of the season on Monday night, winning 59-52 over the Northwestern Wildcats at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois. With this win, the Nittany Lions (8-14, 1-10) snapped an eight game losing streak and got their first win of the 2019 calendar year. Here are the game grades from Penn State's first Big Ten conference victory:
It was enough, but it still was far from pretty. Penn State as a team shot only 37 percent from the field, 20 percent from 3-point range and 61 percent from the foul line. All numbers fall below average.
Lamar Stevens had his usual good game with 18 points, but Rasir Bolton was the only other Nittany Lion in double figures with 14 points. Northwestern isn’t exactly an upper-tier Big Ten team, but if Penn State wants to really compete the rest of the way they’ll need to improve these shooting numbers soon rather than later.
Defense is what won this game for the Nittany Lions as they held this Northwestern team to just 31 percent shooting. Everyone on Penn State's defense was playing well.
Josh Reaves and Jamari Wheeler combined for six steals and harassed the Northwestern guards all night. Mike Watkins blocked three shots and Stevens was also extremely active fighting for loose balls and getting into defenders. This was a big rebound game for the Nittany Lion defense after giving up 99 points to Purdue last Thursday.
Penn State lifted a gorilla off their backs getting that first Big Ten win. Pat Chambers must feel very relived knowing his team can now hold on in a close game, something they haven’t been able to do this season.
The schedule does not get any easier, and Penn State will have to improve their offensive numbers if they want to get any sort of momentum going as they near the end of this season.
Kevin McConlogue is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science. To contact him email email@example.com.