No. 13 Penn State Takes Down Northwestern 77-61

By Jarrod Prugar on February 15, 2020 at 2:35 pm
Feb 15, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Jamari Wheeler (5) signals while dribbling the ball during the first half against the Northwestern Wildcats at Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State defeated Northwestern 77-61. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
© Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Much like the weather outside the Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State was ice cold early shooting 27 percent from the field in the first six minutes. Alas, it was not a sign of things to come as Penn State eventually found their footing in, cruising to a 77-61 win over the Northwestern Wildcats.

  1st half 2nd half final
Penn State 42 35 77
Northwestern 28 33 61

Lamar Stevens led Penn State with 23 points while also chipping in seven rebounds and two assists. Myles Dread, who once again started in Myreon Jones' absence, logged 16 points while connecting on four three-point attempts.

For as well as Stevens played, it was the depth the Nittany Lions showed that was the story of the afternoon. Eight of the 11 Nittany Lions who entered the game found their way into the scoring column.

Although the game never was in doubt, it wasn't as easy or as smooth as Penn State would have liked. Northwestern trailed by double-digits for most of the afternoon but did manage to get within seven in the second half. A Myles Dread three quickly put the Wildcats back at arm's length away and allowed the Nittany Lions to coast to the finish line.

Dread has finally found his shot after some early-season struggles. He's now knocked down at least two three-point attempts in five straight games, his longest stretch of the season. He's been exactly what Pat Chambers has needed without Myreon Jones these past three games.

Mike Watkins had another efficient outing coming off the bench, contributing 11 points and coming within one rebound of a double-double. In a day where Penn State took more than 30 threes, he still found a way to make a solid impact.

Wheeler battled foul trouble throughout the game, but still logged two steals in 33 minutes. He's really starting to gain some confidence on the offensive end and it's only a matter of time before opponents have to respect him as a shooter. 

Penn State now has 10 Big Ten wins, the most under Pat Chambers and their first time hitting the mark since the 2008-09 season. The eight straight conference wins is a new school record. They could head into Sunday as the top team in the Big Ten if Michigan State can knock off Maryland tonight in East Lansing. 

Penn State will be back in the BJC on Tuesday night where they will take on an Illinois team fighting to stay in the Big Ten race. 

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