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NCAA Game Summary - Northwestern at Penn State

(Wednesday, December 31st)

Final Score: Penn State 61, Northwestern 57

University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Talor Battle scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Penn State opened its Big Ten schedule with a 61-57 win at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Stanley Pringle chipped in with 14 points and Jeff Brooks donated nine for Penn State (12-2, 1-0 Big Ten), which has won five straight games.

John Shurna led the way for Northwestern (8-3, 0-1) with 16 points, while Kevin Coble and Craig Moore each contributed 11 points apiece. Michael Thompson had 10 points for the Wildcats, who have dropped two of their last three. Northwestern only had one offensive rebound and attempted five free throws, making three.

Up by a 25-21 margin after one half, Northwestern ran off seven straight to open the second stanza, increasing its lead to 32-21 following a Coble layup nearly 3 1/2 minutes in.

However, the Lions came back in a big way. Starting with a jumper by Jamelle Cornley, PSU mounted a 15-4 burst and managed to tie things at 36-36 with just under 12 minutes left.

Both teams took turns exchanging the lead for the next several minutes, and with the score knotted at 44 with 6:11 to go, a Brooks layup and three by Battle gave the Lions a five-point edge with 5:02 on the clock.

The Lions didn't relinquish the lead from that point, despite Northwestern cutting its deficit to 56-54 after a three-pointer by Shurna with 33 ticks left. But Penn State made five of six free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.

After Penn State jumped out to a five-point lead in the early going, layups by Kyle Rowley and Luka Mirkovic spurred the Wildcats on a 19-5 run and the visitors held a 22-13 lead with 5:45 left in the opening half. Northwestern held a slim 25-21 edge heading into the break.

12/31 14:51:21 ET