Once again, the Penn State men’s basketball team held a late lead — and, once again, the Nittany Lions watched it slip away.
Penn State fell 70-61 to Northwestern on the road Saturday after failing to make a single field goal in the final 10:37 of the game. The Wildcats outscored the opposition 19-6 during that span, in which the Nittany Lions started with a four-point edge and ended up making six free throws.
During that 10:37 stretch, Penn State was 0 for 11 from the field.
Shep Garner paced PSU with a team-high 22 points, while Lamar Stevens added 13. No other Nittany Lion reached double figures.
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Penn State drops to 13-7 overall and 3-5 in the conference with the loss. The Wildcats improve to 12-9, 3-5.
Player of the game
Northwestern center Dererk Pardon: Not only did he limit Mike Watkins and ensure Penn State lost the battle in the paint, but he also scored 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting. On top of that, he registered back-to-back dunks — and three consecutive baskets — to give Northwestern a 61-59 lead with less than five minutes to go in regulation.
Pardon’s late spurt: He’s not the Player of the Game without reason. The Nittany Lions held a 59-55 lead, before Pardon scored three straight times to turn that deficit into a 61-59 advantage. Northwestern had the lead the rest of the game; Vic Law’s 3-pointer 48 seconds after Pardon’s spurt only helped matters, as it gave the Wildcats a 64-59 edge.
Stat of the game
14: That’s the number of turnovers by Penn State — and also the number of points the Wildcats converted from said turnovers. By comparison, Northwestern committed just seven turnovers.
Penn State at Ohio State, 8 p.m. Thursday: The Buckeyes are ranked No. 22, and the slate doesn’t get any easier from here.