STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - Sasa Borovnjak posted his first career double-double with 15 points and a career high 10 rebounds and Penn State (10-19; 2-15 Big Ten) used dominating starts to both halves to post a 66-59 victory over Northwestern (13-17; 4-13 Big Ten) Thursday in Evanston, Ill.
The win, Penn State's second in the last three games, marked the first Big Ten road win under second year head coach Patrick Chambers. Penn State improved to 11-9 all-time at Northwestern.
Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill led Penn State with 18 points each as the Lions shot 48 percent from the floor and collected a 10 steals on Northwestern's senior night. Wildcat senior Alex Marcotullio hit 6-of-9 from three for 22 points to lead Northwestern which shot 34 percent.
Penn State started the game with a 12-0 run and began the second half on a 7-0 run to out-score Northwestern 19-0 in the first five minutes of both halves.
Northwestern took a 54-53 lead on Marcotullio's sixth three, but Penn State responded with baskets from Borovnjak and Newbill to regain a 57-54 lead and would not trail again.
Northwestern was within four, 59-55, when Newbill hit a big jumper to give the Lions a 61-55 lead with 1:33 to play.
Penn State leapt out to a 12-0 lead as Newbill and Marshall both hit early threes and Northwestern committed five turnovers in the opening minutes before finally getting on the board with a Kale Abrahamson three with 14:48 to play. A Nick Colella three answered to put Penn State up 15-3, but Northwestern's offense came alive and the Wildcats used a 9-0 run to close within one, 15-14, after an Alex Marcotullio three.
Penn State shot 60 percent from the floor and started 3-5 from three through the first part of the opening half and rebuilt a 21-14 lead. Marshall converted a lay-up after a Colella dive knocked the ball out of a Northwestern players hands and started a chain reaction that saw two other Lions hit the floor to save the ball and eventually propel it to Marshall on the break.
Penn State led 26-19 when Northwestern mounted a 9-0 run that saw the Wildcats take their first lead of the game, 28-26, after a basket from Abrahamson. Penn State found itself in foul trouble as four Lions had picked up two fouls through the opening 12 minutes causing the Lions to go deep into the bench. The substitutions through the Lion offense out of sync as Penn State went more than four minutes without a field goal before regaining their footing and closing the half on an 8-2 run.
Marshall netted a three and closed the half with a driving scoop shot to put Penn State up 34-30 at the break. Marshall led the Lions with 13 points in the half. The Lions cooled off to 47 percent shooting and finished 5-of-10 from three in the half. Penn State's 2-3 zone and 34 court press helped force 10 Northwestern turnovers in the half, but the Lions committed 10 of their own and sent the Wildcats to the foul line 12 times where they hit 11 to remain close despite shooting 36 percent in the half.
--PSU Athletic Communications--