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Jan. 10, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; JAN. 10, 2013 - A six-minute scoring drought mid-way through the first half derailed Penn State's effort for its first Big Ten win of the season as the Nittany Lions (8-7, 0-3 Big Ten) were unable to rally in the second half and suffered a 70-54 loss to Northwestern (10-6, 1-2 Big Ten) Thursday night in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Sophomore D.J.Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) led all players with 20 points, his fifth 20-point game of the season, and had a team-high three assists. Junior Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) posted 13 points. Sophomore Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) had a game-high nine rebounds, including eight on the defensive end. Freshman Brandon Taylor (Tabernacle, N.J.) had five boards but was limited to two points as early foul trouble cut his minutes to 20 on the game.
Penn State shot 31.6 percent (18-of-57) for the game but hit 83 percent (15-of-18) of its free throws. The Nittany Lions out-rebounded the Wildcats 37-33 and grabbed 15 offensive boards, but turned them into just eight second-chance points.
"I didn't like the way we played, I didn't like the way we competed," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "That has a lot to do with Northwestern. I do not want to discount them at all. But, we were not ready to play and it is it disappointing and that is on me. I take full responsibility."
Northwestern was led by 18 points from sophomore guard Dave Sobolewski who hit 3-of-6 from three and dished out five assists. Jared Swopshire added 17 points as four Wildcats reached double-figures. Northwestern shot 45 percent fro the game and 9-of-22 from three while scoring 17 points at the foul line.
After falling behind early, 6-2, the Nittany Lions rallied with an 8-0 run for a 10-6 lead. Three different players scored during the run with Borovnjak leading with four points. After a Northwestern layup, Newbill scored two to keep Penn State ahead by four, 12-8, but back-to-back buckets from the Wildcats knotted the score at 12-12 with 11:10 to play and sparked a 13-0 run that would change the game.
A Swopshire three pushed Northwestern ahead and a Sobolewski three with 7:01 to play put the Wildcats up 21-12. The Lions suffered through a drought of 6 minutes and 20 seconds before a Travis jumper at 5:45, but the Wildcats fired right back with another strong run of 10 straight points as they out-scored the Lions 25-4 over an 11-minute stretch to build a 33-16 advantage.
After a Penn State timeout with 1:02 on the clock, Alex Marcotullio fouled Borovnjak who went 2-for-2 at the foul line to move Penn State within 15, 33-18, at the half. The Lions shot 30 percent in the half and went 0-of-7 from three while getting to the foul line just three times and making two.
Wildcat Dave Sobolewski opened the second half with a trey increasing the gap to 18, 33-18. Newbill scored Penn State's first points of the half with a layup, but five straight Northwestern points put the Wildcats ahead, 41-20.
The Nittany Lions embarked on a 7-0 run to move within 14, 45-31. Newbill and senior Nick Colella (New Castle, Pa.) each had three points in the run, while Borovnjak contributed two. After a single free throw by Swopshire, Marshall was fouled and tallied two points from the free throw line to bring Penn State within 13, 46-33, with 11:39 to play.
Northwestern responded with an 11-0 run lasting nearly four minutes to take a commanding 23-point lead, 56-33. Newbill scored six straight points to cut the lead to 17 but, the Wildcats tallied six unanswered points to push the lead back to 23 and the Lions never got closer than 16 in the closing seconds.
The Nittany Lions travel to Purdue on Sunday, Jan. 13 to take on the Boilermakers in a noon tip on the Big Ten Network. Penn State returns to action in the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday, Jan. 16 against Michigan State at 7 p.m. before taking on Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist (@PSUSTRETCH) and the official Penn State men's basketball handle (@PennStateMBB) on Twitter and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.
Northwestern has won its last three games against Penn State. The Nittany Lions lead the series 26-15 overall and 15-4 at home.
Sophomore D.J. Newbill led the Lions with 20 points to post double-digit points in 13 of 15 games played this season and his fifth 20-point outing on the year.
Sophomore Ross Travis led the Lions with nine rebounds. He has posted a team-best mark in rebounds in 10 games this season.
Penn State has out-rebounded its opponents on 10 occasions this season, including 37-33 against the Wildcats. The Nittany Lions are 7-4 when out-rebounding their opponent.
Penn State visited the foul line 18 times against Northwestern, making 15 of its attempts (.833). Penn State only visited the foul line a combined 12 times during the first two Big Ten games of the season.
Sophomore walk-on Kevin Montminy tied his career-high with three points and also matched his personal best in rebounds with two while playing a career high 12 minutes.