Boo Buie scored 15 points, all five Northwestern starters reached double digits in scoring and the Wildcats defeated Penn State 68-63 on Sunday.
There were four lead changes and a couple of ties in the first 4 minutes of the second half before a 3-pointer by Buie gave Northwestern a lead they would not relinquish over the final 15 minutes. A 6-1 run got Penn State within 54-53 near the 4-minute mark, but Ryan Langborg buried a 3-pointer to start a 7-0 run for the Wildcats. Northwestern finished off the win with seven made free throws in the final 24 seconds.
Buie had five rebounds and six assists for the Wildcats (17-7, 8-5). Langborg and Brooks Barnhizer each scored 14, and Nick Martinelli and Matthew Nicholson each scored 11 as the starters accounted for all but three points. Barnhizer had nine rebounds and Martinelli and Nicholson had eight each.
Nick Kern had 18 points and seven rebounds for Penn State (12-12, 6-7). Ace Baldwin Jr. had 17 points and eight assists, and Zach Hicks scored 14. Kanye Clary, Penn State's leading scorer, played 14 minutes and did not score in his second game back from an undisclosed injury.
The biggest lead of the first half was Penn State's 7-2 advantage. Northwestern hit three 3-pointers soon after and took its largest lead at 16-12. There were four ties and four lead changes over the final 10 minutes and Northwestern led 29-27 at halftime.
Penn State was coming off three straight double-digit wins against Rutgers (61-46), Indiana (85-71) and Iowa (89-79).
The Wildcats are 7-0 in Big Ten home games this season, their best start at home in conference play since the 1967-68 team went a perfect 7-0 in Big Ten home games.
Over the last two seasons, Northwestern has won 20 Big Ten games, surpassing the 19 conference wins over the 1931-1932 and 1932-33 seasons.
Penn State hosts Michigan State on Wednesday.
Northwestern is at Rutgers on Thursday.
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