Game Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Northwestern
Gabe Angieri, Logan Bourandas and Andrew Field preview Penn State's game against Northwestern on Saturday.
After coming off a huge road win at Purdue, the Nittany Lions will look to add Northwestern’s name to their already impressive winning streak, one that already stands at seven games. Saturday afternoon, Penn State will welcome the Wildcats to the Bryce Jordan Center where it aims to continue its ascension up the NCAA rankings.
Big Ten Dominance
As it stands now, Penn State currently sits in second place in the Big Ten standings behind only the Maryland Terrapins. Maryland is one full game better against Big Ten opponents with a record of 10-3.
To add on to its current seven game win streak, all seven of those wins have come against fellow Big Ten opponents. Their recent success has them 9-4 in the conference.
In the Nittany Lions last two contests, they have been without sophomore guard Myreon Jones.
Jones has been the team’s most consistent shooter this season. His recent absence from the starting lineup is due to a virus that forced him to sit out against Minnesota and Purdue.
If he can suit up Saturday, Jones will immediately resume his role as the team’s most potent 3-point threat. He should help the Penn State offense better space the floor, creating more room for star Lamar Stevens to operate in the paint.
The phrase ‘Climb with us’ has been the slogan for the Nittany Lions all season. In recent weeks they have done nothing but ‘climb’ up the NCAA rankings.
After a week that saw them travel to East Lansing and upset the 16th ranked Michigan State Spartans, the Nittany Lions moved up nine spots in the AP Rankings making them the 13th best team in all of college basketball.
With the potential for another 2-0 week, Penn State could jump even further in the standings before the start of the NCAA Tournament.
While Penn State comes in riding a seven-game win streak, Northwestern is riding a streak of its own.
That streak however is not a desirable one as the Wildcats have lost their last seven contests. Their most recent defeat came at the hands of Rutgers University. It was a crushing loss that ended with a final score of 77-73 in overtime.
The Wildcats have had problems scoring recently. They have scored over 60 points in regulation only once in their last four games.
Penn State is not just one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten. It is one of the hottest teams in college basketball. Combine that with a team that cannot seem to gain any traction offensively and this one should be a lopsided affair.
The Nittany Lions' shooters have been hot from behind the 3-point arc recently. Expect that to continue. An energetic home crowd should also give Penn State, a team that feeds off of crowd energy, even more fire power.
Prediction: Penn State 85, Northwestern 66
Ben Serfass is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.