It took 18 games dating back to last season, but coach Patrick Chambers finally walked away with his first career Big Ten road victory.
Penn State clamped down defensively to defeat Northwestern, 66-59 on Thursday night in Evanston, Ill. It was the team's first conference win away from the Bryce Jordan Center since March 6, 2011 and the team's first true road victory since Nov. 30, 2011.
The Nittany Lions jumped out to a 12-0 lead to start the game, but Northwestern got the score within one point, 15-14, with eight minutes left in the half. This would prove to be a trend throughout the rest of the game with Penn State building comfortable leads and Northwestern closing the gap.
Though the Wildcats eventually took the lead at 28-26 with 4:47 left in the half, the Lions closed the half with a 8-2 run.
Penn State jumped out quickly again in the second half, building a 44-32 lead in the first five minutes. Redshirt junior Jermaine Marshall and redshirt sophomore D.J. Newbill both hit 3-pointers during the run. The pair finished with 18 points apiece to lead the way for the Lions.
However, on senior night for the Wildcats, Northwestern senior guard Alex Marcotullio triggered a run for Northwestern with some spot-on outside shooting, hitting three shots from downtown over a four minute span to help bring his team within two. Marcotullio finished with a game-high 22 points.
The Lions stole back the momentum by converting five of six free throw attempts in the final 30 seconds, in addition to some late scoring by Newbill.
A Newbill jumper with 1:35 remaining put Penn State up 61-55 and gave the team just enough room to fend the Wildcats off the rest of the way.
The Lions were able to pull out the victory despite sloppiness on the offensive end with 16 turnovers. They managed to shoot well, as they hit 48.9 percent (22-of-45) of their shots, and also employed an effective zone defense to hold the Wildcats to 34.7 percent (17-of-49) from the field.
Penn State closes out its regular season on Sunday against Wisconsin at 12 p.m at the BJC.