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Penn State vs. Northwestern Round Two Preview: Lions Seek Sweep on Senior Night

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NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Last Time Out

The previous meeting saw Penn State rally from a ten-point second half deficit to defeat Northwestern, 74-70, in what remains their only true road win of the season. Seth Lundy and Jalen Pickett helped lead the comeback with their scoring barrage of 23 and 18 points, respectively. Despite the Wildcats nailing 12 of 26 three-pointers, the Lions were able to withstand such an onslaught, thanks to some solid rebounding (especially on the offensive end), and getting to the free throw line on a more consistent basis (and making their free throws).

What To Look For

Lundy has been in a scoring slump lately, perhaps he can get his scoring mojo back against the team he lit up in the first meeting? Boo Buie meanwhile, has only nailed eight of his last 30 attempts from downtown, after hitting on 5-of-8 against PSU in the first meeting. Look for Micah Shrewsberry to have his team focused on continuing to keep Buie in his current three-point shooting slump. The John Harrar-Pete Nance battle in the paint should also be one to watch, as Nance leads Northwestern in scoring average (15.1 ppg) and rebounds (6.4 rpg).

Prediction

Northwestern will surely be seeking revenge after what happened back in early January. Not to mention, this is a pivotal game for both teams, as Northwestern sits a half-game behind PSU in 11th in the Big Ten, while PSU is in 10th, just avoiding having to play in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament. The winner of this one will have a leg up in avoiding that bottom four. That being said, the pride of John Harrar and the other six seniors being honored in this one will be quite immense and should lead to some very inspired play that puts the Lions over the top.

Penn State 72, Northwestern 65