- Associated Press - Saturday, January 16, 2016

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - Brandon Taylor scored 19 points and Donovon Jack had 14 as Penn State beat Northwestern 71-62 on Saturday night.

Payton Banks added 10 for the Nittany Lions, who shot 9-for-21 from 3-point range.

Tre Demps had 22 points and Bryant McIntosh and Dererk Pardon added 12 apiece for Northwestern. The Wildcats shot 39 percent from the field and saw their postseason hopes take a hit with a loss to a team in the bottom half of the Big Ten standings. Northwestern (15-4) has never reached the NCAA tournament.

The Nittany Lions (11-8, 2-4) had lost four of five and were coming off losses to No. 4 Michigan State and No. 24 Purdue. Penn State entered the game shooting 29.6 percent on 3-pointers, last in the conference.

Northwestern had won two straight and 12 of 14. The Wildcats entered the game making 9.1 3-pointers per game on average and were 8-0 when making 10 or more shots from beyond the arc.

Jack completed a 3-point play with 15:23 left for a 38-27 Penn State lead. Garner and Taylor each nailed a 3 to extend the lead to 48-31.

Demps then hit Northwestern’s first 3-pointer with 10:21 remaining to snap the Wildcats’ 0-for-17 skid from beyond the arc. But Jordan Dickerson answered on the other end with a dunk to keep Penn State ahead 50-34. Jack hit a jumper to give the Nittany Lions their largest lead at 18.

Northwestern went on an 8-0 run to pull within nine before Penn State made 14 of 18 free throws.

McIntosh was held under his team-leading 16.1 points per game. He shot 6-of-15 from the field. Demps shot 9 of 20.

Penn State led 30-23 at halftime after shooting 6-for-13 from beyond the arc. Northwestern missed all 12 of its 3-point attempts before the break. McIntosh was initially credited with a 3-pointer with 15:18 left, but his foot was inside the line and the call was reversed to a two-pointer. The Wildcats entered the game shooting 37 percent from long distance to rank sixth in the Big Ten.

Taylor led the Nittany Lions with 11 points and three 3-pointers at the break. The Wildcats shot 28.1 percent from the field to Penn State’s 42.3 percent. The Nittany Lions took their largest lead of the half (25-14) on Devin Foster’s 3 with 5:56 remaining.

Last season, Northwestern routed the Nittany Lions 60-39 in Evanston as the Wildcats allowed the fewest points to a Big Ten opponent in 10 years.



Penn State: Freshman G Josh Reaves was sidelined for the second consecutive game due to mononucleosis. He is expected to miss several games. Reaves is averaging 6.4 points and 3.9 rebounds and is second on the team for steals, assists and blocks. . The Nittany Lions led the all-time series against Northwestern 28-16 and 12-10 in Evanston entering Saturday.

Northwestern: C Alex Olah (foot) returned to action Saturday after missing six straight games. He entered with 12:15 remaining before halftime. . McIntosh scored 28 points in the Wildcats’ last game, a 70-65 victory over Wisconsin. . Northwestern had outrebounded 10 of its previous 11 opponents. The Wildcats were leading the Big Ten with an average of 12.4 offensive rebounds per game. . The Wildcats were 15-3 for their best mark through 18 games since 1945-46 when they also were 15-3. Their 3-2 Big Ten record was their best start in five games since 1967-68, when the Wildcats were 4-1.


Penn State: Hosts Wisconsin on Thursday.

Northwestern: At No. 3 Maryland on Tuesday.

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