Penn St. 65, Northwestern 41
Talor Battle scored 19 points to pass 2,000 for his career and
Penn State overwhelmed poor-shooting Northwestern in a decisive
second-half run for a 65-41 win Sunday.
Tim Frazier had 12 points and Jeff Brooks scored 14 in his first
start since dislocating his right shoulder nearly two weeks ago to
help the Nittany Lions (13-11, 6-7 Big Ten) snap a three-game
JerShon Cobb had 10 points to lead Northwestern (14-10, 4-9),
which started 0 for 15 from 3-point territory before Cobb hit from
long range with 9:35 left.
But the game was all but decided by then with the Nittany Lions
leading by as much as 25 after opening the second half with a 21-7
Battle joined Wisconsin’s Alando Tucker as the Big Ten’s only
2,000-point scorers in the past decade. The Penn State guard shot 7
of 9 from the field, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
After a sluggish start against the Wildcats’ Princeton offense,
Penn State settled down defensively and held Northwestern to just
15 points before halftime, the lowest scoring first half for a Penn
State opponent all year.
From there it only got worse for Northewestern.
Battle, a senior playing in his third-to-last regular-season
home game of his stellar career, hit a wide-open 3 from about 28
feet for a 38-18 lead with 15 minutes left.
Mike Capocci then missed a 3 that was rebounded by David
Jackson. The ball eventually ended up in the hands – again – of
Battle on the break who pulled up at the left wing for a 3 over the
outstetched arm of Capocci for a 23-point lead.
It was a painfully familiar sequence for Northwestern, which
finished 18-of-52 shooting (34 percent), but 2 of 21 from 3-point
range (9 percent). The Wildcats entered the day third in the league
in 3-point shooting percentage at 38 percent.
Penn State also outrebounded Northwestern 33-21.
The game was tight for the first nine-plus minutes with the
Wildcats finding holes to the lane for easy buckets. John Shurna’s
short jumper with 12:12 left gave Northwestern its last lead of the
Penn State raced away from there, with Brooks hitting a jumper
in the paint and Battle following up a missed 3 by Cammeron
Woodyard for a layup to give the Nittany Lions the lead for good,
16-13 with 10:02 left.
Shurna was held to seven points, more than 10 below his season