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Feb. 24, 2011
Evanston, Ill., Feb. 24, 2011 - Penn State (15-12: 8-8 Big Ten) got 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting from Jeff Brooks and put four players in double-figures as the Nittany Lions downed Northwestern (16-11; 6-10 Big Ten), 66-52, Thursday in Evanston, Ill.
Tim Frazier posted his first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 10 assists and added five boards for the Lions. Talor Battle added 13 and David Jackson 12 for a Penn State team that shot 56 percent and led by as many as 16 in the first half before Northwestern made a game of it.
Michael Thompson led the Wildcats with 22 points as Penn State downed Northwestern for the sixth-straight time and the 10th time in the last 11 meetings. The Lions improved to 10-8 in Evanston and claimed sole possession of fifth place in the Big Ten standings with their eighth conference win of the season. The eight Big Ten wins equal the fourth-best mark in program history as Penn State has achieved the mark for the second time under Ed DeChellis.
Battle logged three assists to become the first Big Ten player ever and just the 12th in NCAA Division I history to post at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists. Jackson tied Penn State's all-time games played mark appearing in his 129th contest to equal the record set by Titus Ivory (1997-2001).
Penn State used a 9-0 run to open up a two-point lead in the second half. A Thompson three cut Penn State's lead to 34-32 with 12:14 remaining. Drew Jones, who had nine points on the night, got a bucket and Jackson followed with one of his own. Battle drove for a lay-up and Brooks banged a three to put Penn State up, 43-32.
Thompson hit a three, but Brooks answered with a trey on the other end the keep the margin at 11, 46-35. Northwestern never truly threatened again. The got the lead to seven on a JerShon Cobb three and were within seven again, 57-50, after a Thompson lay-up with 2:20 to play.
Penn State ran off eight straight to build a 65-50 lead and put the game away.
Penn State came out of the gates blazing hitting its first five straight and 8-of-9 to start the game to open an early 16-point lead, 18-2. Frazier got things cranking with a steal and one-handed jam and Drew Jones followed with a short jumper for and 11-2 lead at the first media timeout.
Brooks hit a three out of the timeout and David Jackson got a lay-up to force a Northwestern timeout at 13:59. Brooks hit a jumper following the timeout to make it 18-2 as Northwestern hit just 1-of-9 to start the game.
Thompson got a runner to end a five-minute Wildcat drought and sparked a 10-0 Northwestern run capped by three from John Shurna and Thompson to slice Penn State's lead to six, 18-12. A Jackson jumper ended a four-minute scoring drought for the Lions and Brooks got a lay-up to rebuild the Penn State lead to 10, 22-12.
Northwestern spurted again this time running off seven-straight, the last five coming on a Thompson three and lay-up that cut the lead to three, 22-19, with 6:05 to play. Brooks hit again to push the margin higher, but Luka Mirkovic answered with a close score in the paint and the Wildcats were within three again.
Jones got a lay-up to make it 26-21, but Penn State failed to score in the final 3:23 of the half and Mirkovic scored again to make it 26-23 at the half.
The Lions shot a 54 percent in the first stanza but committed nine turnovers to help keep a Northwestern team that hit just 32 percent in the game. Brooks led the Lions with nine in the half while Thompson had 10 for the Wildcats. The Lions didn't shoot a free throw in the half.
Penn State will take the weekend off before returning to the Jordan Center for the final regular season home contest of the year vs. No. Ohio State. It will be "Senior Night" at the Jordan Center with seniors Talor Battle, Jeff Brooks, David Jackson, Andrew Jones and Steve Kirkpatrick honored 30 minutes before the scheduled 9:00 p.m. tip on the Big Ten Network.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 814-865-5555, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Tickemaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level ticket for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5 for each of the 19 home contests.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Assistant Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.