Game 5: Penn State pulls away late, downs Northwestern

Game 5: Penn State pulls away late, downs Northwestern

No. 7 Penn State lives to fight another day following a 65-57 win vs. No. 10 Northwestern. And the Nittany Lions did it even though it shot 36 percent and was without key big man Mike Watkins, who is out for the entire tournament with injury. Having only five turnovers was key.

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Now, Penn State will take on No. 2 Ohio State, a team it already has beaten two times this season. Interesting.

To say this has been a disappointing season for Northwestern would be a colossal understatement. A season after making the NCAA tourney for the first time ever—and winning a game, too—the Wildcats reverted to form in 2017-18 even though they returned the bulk of their key players from last season’s Cinderella team.

Best star: Tony Carr was outstanding, notching a game-high 25 points on 8-of-20 shooting. He hit 6-of-10 3-pointers, grabbed six boards and tallied four assists in 39 minutes.

Best stat: 44, Penn State’s shooting percentage from 3-point range. The Nittany Lions drained 13-of-29 from long range, led by Tony Carr’s 6-of-10 effort. Shep Garner hit 4-of-9. NU hit just 5-of-19 (26 percent) from 3-point land.

Best dunk: Early in the game, Penn State’s Josh Reaves sprinted down court with the ball after a Northwestern turnover. Unabated and unencumbered on the way to the hoop Reaves rise up and delivered a vicious dunk.

Best shot: Penn State was leading, 55-54, late in the second half. That’s when Josh Reaves stepped up and drained a big 3-pointer. Then, Tony Carr followed with another 3. That made it 61-54, Penn State. And the Nittany Lions never looked back.

It was over when: NU took a 52-50 lead on a Dererk Pardon bucket. Then, over the final 4:56, Penn State outscored the Wildcats, 15-5, and took the win.

Did you see that? In the first half, Northwestern’s Scottie Lindsey rose for a layup and his left elbow hit Penn State’s Lamar Stevens in the mouth. Lindsey was whistled for a flagrant 1 foul; he later fouled out.

Notable:

  • Penn State hit a Big Ten Tournament program-best 13 3-point FGs.
  • Penn State closed the game on a 13-0 run over the final 3:52.
  • This was the 20th time Tony Carr has had 20 points in a game.
Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

About Tom Dienhart: BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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