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Nittany Lions can’t keep up with Northwestern on road

January 2, 2012
The Altoona Mirror

The Associated Press

EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern coach Bill Carmody challenged Drew Crawford and his teammates to pick up the pace after a sluggish first half against Penn State on Sunday.

The Wildcats (11-3, 1-1 Big Ten) blitzed the visiting Nittany Lions in the final 20 minutes as Crawford scored 21 points and reached the 1,000 point milestone for his Northwestern career in a 68-56 victory.

"None of us were happy in the locker room at halftime," Carmody said. "We didn't talk too much basketball ... They were ticked off at me and I was ticked off with them, but in the second half they came out ready to play."

Crawford, a junior forward, is the 31st Northwestern player to top 1,000 career points and the 17th to reach the mark in just three seasons.

Dave Sobolewski scored a career-high 20 points while John Shurna added 17 for the Wildcats (11-3, 1-1), who had lost their previous two games.

Tim Frazier led Penn State (8-7, 0-2) with 16 points. Jermaine Marshall had 14 and Cammeron Woodyard added 11 for the Nittany Lions.

Crawford, who has 1,002 career points, hit the milestone with a 3-pointer with 10:07 remaining.

"It's not a big deal," said Crawford. "It's really a team effort because guys are able to find me when I'm open. It's a nice achievement, but I'm more happy to get the win."

Northwestern used an 8-0 second-half run to take control at 48-40 and extended the lead to 58-47 on Sobolewski's three-point play with 7:27 to play. The lead never dipped below nine the rest of the way.

Sunday's game showcased the Big Ten's top three scorers, including Shurna, who led the conference entering the game with an 18.8-point average. Crawford was next at 17.7 while Penn State's Frazier was third at 17.4.

Penn State led 26-23 after a first half noted more for shooting woes than offensive production.

The Nittany Lions were just 8 for 31 (26 percent) from the field after 20 minutes as Frazier led with seven points. The Wildcats were 7 for 19 (37 percent) as Sobolewski collected 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Both teams were 3 for 11 from beyond the 3-point arc.

In the second half, the Wildcats improved to 15-for-21 (71.4 percent).

"They shot the ball really well in the second half," Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers said. "That took the wind right out of our sails. That's what happens when you make shots and the game becomes a lot easier."

Penn State beat Northwestern twice last season, including a 66-52 decision on Feb. 24, 2011 in Evanston.

The Wildcats dropped their Big Ten opener Wednesday at No. 2 Ohio State 87-54. The Nittany Lions fell 71-53 at No. 18 Michigan to start conference play.

Northwestern is home on Wednesday against Illinois while Penn State hosts Purdue on Thursday.

PENN ST. (8-7): Oliver 0-0 2-4 2, Marshall 5-14 1-4 14, Frazier 5-11 6-9 16, Woodyard 3-13 3-4 11, Glover 2-5 0-0 4, Borovnjak 2-4 2-2 6, Graham 0-1 0-0 0, Lewis 1-5 0-0 3, Travis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-53 14-23 56.

NORTHWESTERN (11-3): Crawford 7-9 5-6 21, Shurna 5-10 5-5 17, Mirkovic 1-2 2-7 4, Hearn 0-1 0-0 0, Sobolewski 7-12 3-5 20, Cobb 0-2 0-0 0, Curletti 0-0 0-2 0, Marcotullio 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 22-40 15-25 68.

Halftime-Penn St. 26-23. 3-Point Goals-Penn St. 6-19 (Marshall 3-8, Woodyard 2-5, Lewis 1-4, Frazier 0-2), Northwestern 9-21 (Sobolewski 3-7, Crawford 2-2, Marcotullio 2-4, Shurna 2-7, Cobb 0-1). Fouled Out-Glover, Marcotullio, Oliver. Rebounds-Penn St. 36 (Glover 8), Northwestern 27 (Mirkovic 11). Assists-Penn St. 11 (Frazier, Lewis, Marshall 3), Northwestern 13 (Crawford 3). Total Fouls-Penn St. 23, Northwestern 16. A-5,389.

 
 

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