Penn State basketball still has hope for the NCAA Tournament.
Cam Wynter’s game-winning 3, set up by Evan MaHaffey’s offensive rebound— with less than a second left in overtime game the team a needed 68-65 win over Northwestern in Evanston.
It was an appropriate ending to a great night for Wynter, who scored 24 points, two shy of his season high.
The win makes pushes Penn State to 18-12 overall and 9-10 in the Big Ten.
Penn State got off to a slow start, missing three of its first four 3-pointers and falling behind, 10-5, by the first media timeout. Northwestern kept the momentum out of that timeout, eventually building an 11-0 run, and led 14-7 at the U12 timeout. Northwestern pushed the lead to 17-7 and its run got as big as 14-2.
Penn State kept fighting, and an 8-0 run made it a 23-22 Northwestern lead by the last media timeout of the first half. Northwestern took a 28-24 lead into halftime. Seth Lundy led Penn State with eight first-half points, followed by Andrew Funk and Wynter, who each had six. Lundy finished 14 points and Funk had 17. For Northwestern, Robbie Beran, Ty Berry and Boo Buie each has six points. Berry finished with 10 points and Buie had 20. Brooks Barnhizer finished with 19 off the bench.
Penn State struggled from beyond the arc, making just three of 13 3-point attempts.
Northwestern went 6-for-13 from 3. Penn State also struggled to take care of the basketball, turning it over nine times compared to just two from Northwestern.
Penn State started the second half strong, taking a 37-33 lead by the first media timeout. The game continued to be back-and-forth, with Northwestern leading by one at the next media break. Northwestern kept control of the game for the next few minutes, heading into the under-8 timeout up by four. The rest of the game was pretty much the same song and dance.
In the dying seconds, Penn State had a chance to win the game with 3.3 seconds left. But Funk’s shot at the buzzer missed, and overtime was needed.
Wynter didn’t miss his shot.
Penn State’s last regular-season game is Sunday at noon against Maryland. The team will likely need to beat Maryland and make some noise in the Big Ten Tournament to go dancing for the first time since 2011.