Northwestern

Tony Carr sets Penn State up for Big Ten trilogy

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Tony Carr sets Penn State up for Big Ten trilogy

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NEW YORK -- With the game on the line and quite possibly a trip to the NCAA Tournament, Tony Carr didn't hesitate to put Penn State on his back.

Carr scored 25 points and hit two 3-pointers and set up another in the final minutes as the seventh-seeded Nittany Lions made a late rush to hold off Northwestern 65-57 in the second round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament on Thursday night.

"He was huge down the stretch of the game," fellow guard Shep Garner. "Big play after big play after big play. And that's what he does for this team. He makes big plays on the offensive end. We're kind of used to it at this point. We don't take it for granted, but we're kind of used to it at this point."

Penn State (20-12) broke its school record for a Big Ten Tournament game by hitting 13 three-pointers in snapping a three-game losing streak and setting up a quarterfinal game on Friday against No. 13 and second-seeded Ohio State at Madison Square Garden.

The Nittany Lions, who posted their first 20-win season since 2008-09, beat the Buckeyes twice in the regular season.

Beating banged up Northwestern (15-17) wasn't easy. The Wildcats hung tough most of the game and didn't falter until the end when Penn State scored 13 straight points.

"We defended and rebounded when we had to for most of the game," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "But really at the end, the last four minutes when we went on that run, just everybody really buckled down and got some stops there."

Carr hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 4:06 to play to give Penn State a 55-54 lead and ignite the game deciding run. He later set up a 3-pointer by Josh Reaves that expanded the lead to 58-54 with 3:03 to go and he followed with his sixth 3-pointer a minute later for a seven-point lead.

"They went to some of their favorite action and just got him in ball screens," Northwestern guard Bryant McIntosh said of Carr. "And he obviously knew it was winning time, and he stepped up and got aggressive offensively and was just looking to make plays. To his credit, he did."

Reaves finished with 15 points and Garner had 12.

Dererk Pardon has 14 points and eight rebounds for Northwestern, which finished its season on a seven-game losing streak. It was a major disappointment for the Wildcats who went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time last season and had high hopes coming into this season.

"Although I'm disappointed to lose the game, I'm more disappointed I won't get a chance to coach these guys anymore," Northwestern coach Chris Collins said.

Scottie Lindsey added 12 points for Northwestern before fouling out with 3:15 to play on an offensive foul.

Neither team led by more than four points in the final 15 minutes until Penn State took control late.

McIntosh gave Northwestern its last lead at 54-52 with 4:33 to go with an off-balance jumper from the left baseline.

Carr, who scored 15 points in the first half and was blanked for the opening 13 minutes of the second half, then gave Penn State the lead with one of his high-arcing shots.

The first half ended in a 30-all tie but the most interesting play was a flagrant foul called against Lindsey with 4:47 left in the half and Northwestern ahead 25-19. Carr seemingly had a shot blocked on the offensive end and Lindsey had his shot blocked on the other end.

Carr then came to the bench with his mouth bleeding. The officials reviewed the videotape of his blocked shot and assessed the flagrant.

Big picture
Northwestern: Has to regroup.

Penn State: May need one more win in tournament to nail down an NCAA berth.

Up next
Northwestern: Next season.

Penn State: Faces second-seeded Ohio State in the tournament quarterfinals on Friday.

Penn State falls to Northwestern for 2nd straight loss

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Penn State falls to Northwestern for 2nd straight loss

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ROSEMONT, Ill. — Vic Law had 18 points and Scottie Lindsey scored 13 to lead Northwestern to a 70-61 victory over Penn State on Saturday afternoon.

Dererk Pardon added 12 points and Bryant McIntosh 10 for the Wildcats (12-9, 3-5 Big Ten), who snapped a two-game skid.

Shep Garner scored 22 points and Lamar Stevens added 13 for the Nittany Lions (13-8, 3-5), who have lost five of eight.

Northwestern used an 11-0 run to pull ahead 66-59 with 3:26 left in the game.

Pardon scored the run's first six points - with two dunks. Law followed with a 3 and McIntosh capped the run with a jumper. Gavin Skelly made two free throws with 27.5 seconds remaining to seal it.

Penn State went without a field goal over the final 10:37. The Nittany Lions shot 37 percent in the second half after shooting 68 percent before the break.

Penn State's Tony Carr was averaging 19.6 points per game to rank second in the Big Ten but finished with just eight points.

The Nittany Lions beat the visiting Wildcats 78-63 two weeks ago.

Law's 3 gave Northwestern its first lead at 24-23 and capped an 11-2 run. Penn State led 35-33 at halftime after Garner nailed two 3s in the final two minutes. He had 17 points and was 5 for 6 beyond the arc at the break.

The Nittany Lions led by as much as nine in the first half.

Northwestern has won seven of its last 11 games against Penn State.

Big Picture
Penn State: The Nittany Lions have had to adjust without their top defender Josh Reaves, who has been suspended for academic reasons. They fell to 1-3 without Reaves.

Northwestern: The Wildcats have faltered after going to the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time in school history. The schedule doesn't get easier - the Wildcats play five of their next six games on the road.

Up Next
Penn State is at No. 22 Ohio State on Thursday.

Northwestern is at Minnesota on Tuesday.

Penn State sees a Bryce Jordan Center record

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Penn State sees a Bryce Jordan Center record

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- On a night where Penn State's guards deferred to their bigs, Nittany Lions forwards Lamar Stevens and Mike Watkins were too much for Northwestern to handle.

Stevens set a Bryce Jordan Center record with 14 field goals and scored 16 of his career-high 30 points in the first half and Watkins had 18 points and 17 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season as Penn State beat Northwestern 78-63 on Friday night.

"They beat us up in the paint," Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. "They beat us on drives and post-ups and it was just too much for us to overcome tonight."

Both played with a visible edge -- Watkins backed his marks violently into the paint and Stevens screamed in exaltation after numerous dunks. It was a needed release after a somber ride home from Maryland where the Nittany Lions lost a game they thought they should've won Tuesday.

"Sometimes, a loss like that, where you're winning for 36 minutes and you come up short, it can fracture a young team," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said.

It didn't.

Tony Carr added 12 points for the Nittany Lions (12-5, 2-2 Big Ten), who led the Wildcats (10-7, 1-3) for all but 61 seconds.

Bryant McIntosh returned to the Northwestern lineup from a one-game injury absence and led the Wildcats with 18 points.

Penn State took control with its best shooting half in more than a decade. The Nittany Lions made 71 percent (17 of 24) of their field goals in the first half and led 41-34 at halftime. Penn State last made at least 70 percent of its shots against VMI in 2006.

The Nittany Lions used a 9-0 run that spanned four-plus minutes midway through the second to keep the game out of reach. In that time, the Wildcats went 0 for 7 from the field and wouldn't come closer than six points.

Wheeler’s emergence
Jamari Wheeler has become a valuable commodity off the bench and Chambers is plenty comfortable deploying the speedy freshman in nearly any situation.

Wheeler's speed has helped fuel Penn State's transition game and his defense left few clean shots for McIntosh's sidekick Scottie Lindsey, who dropped 31 points on Penn State on its home court last season.

Lindsey was just 3 for 17 from the field on Friday.

"Jamari's fearless," Stevens said. "I think he's really held his own as a freshman."

Carr’s contributions
Carr struggled scoring the ball for much of the game. He went just 3 for 13 from the field, but Penn State's top shooter made other contributions.

He finished with five assists and four rebounds and made 5-for-7 free throws. He also helped hold the Wildcats in check defensively.

"He was very proud to show me he had blood running down his leg and blood running down his elbow," Chambers said. "I said, `What do you think I'm going to say?' He said, `Winning hurts.' That's right. That's the way it's got to be from here on out."

The takeaway
Northwestern: The Wildcats have been inconsistent for most of the season, ranking in the bottom half of the Big Ten in scoring offense and defense as well as field-goal percentage. Getting McIntosh back should help.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions lost a game they probably should've won against Maryland and played with chips on their shoulders to start this one.

Up next
Northwestern hosts Minnesota (13-3, 2-1) on Wednesday.

Penn State travels to Indiana (8-7, 1-2) on Tuesday.