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Northwestern 60, Penn State 39: It Was A Horsesh** Performance, And It Sucked

Penn State turned in its worst performance of the season in a game they absolutely needed to win in order to salvage something from a spiraling Big Ten campaign. Par for the course.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Four Factors Analysis

Team Possessions PPP eFG% OReb% TO% FT Rate
Penn State 57 0.68 (woof) 34.5% 34.1% 24.4% 14.5%
Northwestern - 1.05 53.0% 24.1% 15.7% 20.0%

The numbers speak for themselves. 15-of-55 from the field (many of them jacked-up NBA-range three-point shots), 14 turnovers, and 1-for-8 shooting from the free throw line will do that to you. I realize Northwestern's recent conversion to a 2-3 zone had been the catalyst for its (now) three-game winning streak, but my goodness, PSU looked like a boy who had just looked through a Playboy magazine for the first time in his life when it came to figuring out how to break the zone.

Player of the Game - Geno Thorpe

There were no 'players of the game' as far as I'm concerned, but Geno was the lone Nittany Lion to reached double figure scoring (13 points, including an surprising 3-for-5 from three point range), and pitched in six rebounds, to boot.

Random Observations

  • Paging D.J. Newbill - Penn State's lone reliable night-in, night-out scorer was held to three points today, and those didn't come until garbage time...Yeah.
  • Remember The Good Ol' Days of December? You know, back when the team had just managed a best-case scenario 12-1 mark in non-conference play? Yes, you could argue it was a shaky 12-1, as PSU had won some tight games against teams they probably should've blown away (let alone, the miracle finish needed to beat Cornell) but still, it felt like this veteran squad had finally figured out how to win games no matter how tight things got. While the NCAA's still felt like a longshot, NIT was certainly a plausible scenario. Now, at 15-13 overall, and 3-12 in the B1G, we find ourselves wondering if this team will finish with a sub-.500 overall record. Even more disappointing is the fact that a more veteran team than last year's could finish with half as many conference wins as a year ago (6-12 last year, 3-15 this year). No, I'm not calling for Pat Chambers to be fired, and it's not going to happen anyway (nor should it, with the Mike Watkins/Josh Reaves recruiting class coming in) but it's hard not to be bitterly disappointed and frustrated with the way things have played out at this point in his coaching tenure.
  • THON Is Happening At The BJC Right Now, So Everything Else Is Meaningless - There's still another 20+ hours (as of the time this recap is being written). Please consider making a pledge at, if you haven't already done so.

Looking Ahead

Penn State gets a week's worth of rest before facing Iowa at home next Saturday. That game may very well be PSU's most realistic shot at winning a game before the Big Ten Tournament. Not that anyone outside of the 50 or so of us hardcore basketbros gives a crap, anymore...