Penn State downs Northwestern for first Big Ten win

Penn State downs Northwestern for first Big Ten win

Junior forward Lamar Stevens recorded 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists as Penn State snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 59-52 victory over host Northwestern on Monday night in Big Ten play at Evanston, Ill.

Feb 4, 2019; Evanston, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats center Dererk Pardon (5) drives against Penn State Nittany Lions forward Lamar Stevens (11) at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman guard Rasir Bolton added 14 points and six rebounds as the Nittany Lions (8-14, 1-10 Big Ten) won for the first time since beating University of Maryland Baltimore County on Dec. 29.

Senior center Dererk Pardon had 18 points and nine rebounds for Northwestern (12-10, 3-8), which lost its third consecutive game. Senior forward Vic Law contributed 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists but was just 3-of-17 shooting and committed six of the Wildcats’ 13 turnovers.

Northwestern shot just 31.7 percent from the field and was 7 of 22 from behind the arc.

Penn State connected on 37.7 percent of its shots, including 3 of 15 from 3-point range. The Nittany Lions committed nine turnovers.

Stevens was instrumental in Penn State’s first conference victory.

He made two free throws with 47.1 seconds left to give the Nittany Lions a 56-50 lead. Then he knocked the ball out of Law’s hands and it glanced off Law’s left knee and out of bounds for a turnover with 32.9 seconds remaining.

Northwestern later pulled within four before Bolton made two free throws and Stevens split a pair to close it out.

The score was tied at 34 early in the second half before Penn State went on an 11-3 burst over eight minutes.

Sophomore forward John Harrar’s layup gave the Nittany Lions a 45-37 lead at the midway point of the half before Northwestern showed life 50 seconds later on Pardon’s dunk.

Law followed with a 3-pointer to pull the Wildcats within 45-42. A short time later, freshman forward Miller Kopp drained a 3-pointer to trim Penn State’s lead to 47-45 with 7:08 remaining.

But Penn State held off the charge and Stevens drove the lane for a layup to make it 53-47 with 4:42 left. The Nittany Lions wouldn’t relinquish their advantage down the stretch.

Bolton scored 10 first-half points as Penn State led 32-30 at the break.

The Wildcats used a 12-4 push to take a 30-27 lead on sophomore guard Anthony Gaines’ dunk with 1:35 remaining before the Nittany Lions scored the final five points of the half for the two-point halftime lead.

—Field Level Media

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