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Penn State Basketball

Takeaways From Penn State’s Win At Northwestern

Penn State basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry
Micah Shrewsberry coaches against Indiana. - Penn State athletics

Penn State bounced back from its epic collapse against Rutgers with a crucial quad-one win at Northwestern Wednesday night. Penn State beat Northwestern 68-65 in overtime on a gam—winning 3 by Cam Wynter. Penn State now has a big opportunity to make a run at an NCAA Tournament bid if it can handle its business beforehand. For how, here are my takeaways from Wednesday night’s game.


Wynter has come along, especially in the past two games, and beyond the game-winning shot. The fifth-year senior from Drexel has quietly become one of Penn State’s best players and a guy it has to have going into the stretch run. Jalen Pickett has been Penn State’s best player. But for whatever reason— either he is either tired from carrying the team or opposing teams have decided that Pickett won’t beat them— Pickett has only scored a combined 18 points over the past two games. If this keeps up, Wynter the only player on Penn State’s roster that has NCAA Tournament experience, will be key to Penn State making it.


After shooting 1 for 16 from the floor Sunday, including 0 for 11 from the 3-point line, Seth Lundy
went 5 for 12 and went 4 for 9 from deep. Lundy showed resiliency, bouncing back from a terrible shooting performance, but I was more impressed by his post-defense. Andrew Funk wasn’t much better than Ludy Sunday, going 1 for 7 from the field. Against Northwestern, Funk scored 17 points and went 4-for-9 from the 3 line. Both players stepped up when Pickett wasn’t having his best scoring night.


Penn State started terribly on the offensive end of the floor with live ball turnovers and continuing the trend of poor shot selection. Northwestern went on a 14-2 run in the first half to make the score 19-7.

After that, Penn State’s defense buckled down defense after Northwestern uncharacteristically made 3s during the run. Penn State’s defense spearheaded its offense, which didn’t happen Sunday. Northwestern stopped making its threes and Penn State slowly got back in the game and got in a rhythm offensively.


Northwestern coach Chris Collins emulated  Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell’s strategy to double and triple team Pickett. For the most part, it worked, but Pickett did a much better job finding thee open shooter, and it also helps if the ball goes in the net. Pickett knew he could help Penn State by being a decoy, and his 11 assists Wednesday were critical to Penn State navigating its rough offensive start and getting the big road victory.



Penn State still has a lot of work to do to get into the NCAA Tournament. It needs to beat Maryland Sunday at home Maryland to get at least a bye in the Big Ten Tournament and make the March Madness journey easier.

Twitter: @bwalkerdadon

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