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Penn State men’s basketball beats Northwestern, 81-78

STATE COLLEGE — The Penn State men’s basketball team came out on top Saturday night with an 81-78 victory over Northwestern in the Bryce Jordan Center. Led by junior guard Izaiah Brockington with a game-high 21 points, and three other Nittany Lions (5-6, 2-5) in double figures, Penn State (5-6, 2-5) picked up its second-straight Big Ten Conference win.

Brockington finished his perfect night at the foul line with two free throws with seven seconds to play for an 81-78 Penn State lead. Northwestern’s 3-point attempt from the right wing at the buzzer was long.

“(I’m) really proud of our guys, I thought that was a fantastic program win – when I mean program win, I mean everybody — our training staff, strength and conditioning, this is the last game of the four games we’ve had (in a week). Everybody really committed to making sure we were ready to go…Our bench was fantastic…the preparation that went into this whole week, not just this last game. When they (Northwestern) came back, and they took the lead, we were struggling a little bit there defensively, we could have very easily folded, and we didn’t. I give that credit to the leadership of this team…What I saw tonight was a bunch of guys (who are) really connected and playing for each other.”

The Nittany Lions withstood a furious second-half shooting performance from Northwestern. The Wildcats shot 70 percent (14-20) from the field through the first 13:18 of the period, but Penn State’s defense anchored down and held the Wildcats to a 1-7 mark in the final 4:02.

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