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No. 13 Penn State tops Northwestern 77-61

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Penn State coach Patrick Chambers has watched his teams cough up enough leads late to know this squad is different.

The No. 13 Nittany Lions are hanging on and closing games out.

Lamar Stevens scored 23 points to lead Penn State over Northwestern 77-61 on Saturday.

Myles Dread scored 16 and Jamari Wheeler and Mike Watkins added 11 apiece for the Nittany Lions, who led for all but 6:29 to win their eighth straight.

They've arrived at 20 wins sooner than any other season in program history.

''We've been talking about moments since the beginning of the season and this is another moment for us,'' Chambers said. ''You can celebrate after the season. Right now, we're trying to do something special. Something Penn State's never done before.''

Boo Buie and Pete Nance had 12 points, Pat Spencer scored 11 and Miller Kopp had 10 for the Wildcats (6-18, 1-13 Big Ten), who lost their ninth in a row.

The Nittany Lions (20-5, 10-4) led 42-28 at halftime and by as many as 18 midway through the second half before the Wildcats clawed back.

Aided by a 17-6 run midway through the second half, Northwestern cut Penn State's lead to seven with 5:16 left. But Dread drained a 3-pointer to help put the game out of reach and the Nittany Lions finished on a 10-4 run.

''Give credit to their guys who were able to hit some good shots when we put some pressure on them,'' Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. ''We had some opportunities in the paint that we couldn't finish.''

The Wildcats had a good start. Kopp got the them started with a 3-pointer that quickly turned into an 11-9 lead for Northwestern. It didn't last long.

Penn State extended its lead with back-to-back 3-pointers from Dread and Wheeler that sparked a 22-6 run, including a 10-0 stretch, that put Penn State up 35-19.

WHEELS UP

Wheeler has paced the Nittany Lions' backcourt with his defensive skills all season. He's third in the Big Ten in steals and helped fuel Penn State's transition game.

Lately, he's added some shooting touch.

The quick-footed guard has added some offensive touch lately. Wheeler had made just seven 3-pointers in Penn State's first 22 games, but has drained five over the last three.

JONESIN' TO PLAY

Penn State guard Myreon Jones missed his third straight game with an illness but appears to be on the mend.

Jones shot around with his teammates before the game and was on the bench. Chambers said Jones is getting healthier, but that Penn State wouldn't rush their No. 2 shooter back.

''I think we need to ease him back,'' Chambers said.

In the meantime, Dread has contributed not only his shot, but his defensive skills. Dread, who made 6 of 13 field goals, added four defensive rebounds, four assists a block and two steals.

''I'm going to start with his defense,'' Chambers said. ''Having him in there, we're bigger, we're stronger. Our defense has gotten even better with Myles right now.''

THE BIG PICTURE

Northwestern: The Wildcats have struggled to shoot and rebound the ball all season. They entered Saturday's game dead last in the Big Ten in scoring offense, field goal percentage and rebounding offense.

Penn State: After building a double-digit lead, the Nittany Lions had to fend off another late comeback try at home after they almost let Minnesota back into the game last week.

UP NEXT

Northwestern: Visits No. 9 Maryland on Tuesday.

Penn State: Hosts No. 22 Illinois on Tuesday.

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Time Team Play Score
20:00   Jumpball received by Northwestern  
19:43 +3 Miller Kopp made 3-pt. jump shot 3-0
19:27   Seth Lundy missed 3-pt. jump shot  
19:25   Defensive rebound by Boo Buie  
18:56   Robbie Beran missed jump shot, blocked by Myles Dread  
18:54   Offensive rebound by Robbie Beran  
18:49   Miller Kopp missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:47   Defensive rebound by Lamar Stevens  
18:35   Lamar Stevens missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:33   Offensive rebound by Jamari Wheeler  
18:25   Seth Lundy missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:23   Defensive rebound by Robbie Beran  
18:16 +2 Boo Buie made floating jump shot 5-0
18:08   Myles Dread missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:06   Offensive rebound by John Harrar  
18:06   Traveling violation turnover on John Harrar  
17:56   Boo Buie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:54   Defensive rebound by Myles Dread  
17:49 +3 Jamari Wheeler made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Myles Dread 5-3
17:32 +2 Pat Spencer made fade-away jump shot, assist by Miller Kopp 7-3
17:18   Traveling violation turnover on Lamar Stevens  
17:05   Ryan Young missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:03   Defensive rebound by Seth Lundy  
17:03   Personal foul on Miller Kopp  
16:52 +3 Lamar Stevens made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Myles Dread 7-6
16:41 +2 Miller Kopp made jump shot, assist by Pat Spencer 9-6
16:31 +3 Seth Lundy made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jamari Wheeler 9-9
16:18 +2 Pat Spencer made layup, assist by Miller Kopp 11-9
16:18   30-second timeout called  
16:18   Commercial timeout called  
15:55   Myles Dread missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:53   Defensive rebound by Robbie Beran  
15:26   Jared Jones missed jump shot  
15:24   Defensive rebound by Lamar Stevens  
15:13   Mike Watkins missed layup, blocked by Jared Jones  
15:11   Offensive rebound by Mike Watkins  
15:13   Shooting foul on Jared Jones  
15:13 +1 Mike Watkins made 1st of 2 free throws 11-10
15:13 +1 Mike Watkins made 2nd of 2 free throws 11-11
14:44   Boo Buie missed driving layup  
14:42   Defensive rebound by Myles Dread  
14:33   Mike Watkins missed layup, blocked by Jared Jones  
14:31   Offensive rebound by Penn State  
14:15   Jamari Wheeler missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:14   Personal foul on Miller Kopp  
14:08   Personal foul on Pat Spencer  
13:48   Lamar Stevens missed jump shot  
13:46   Offensive rebound by Mike Watkins  
13:45 +2 Mike Watkins made dunk 11-13
13:24   Personal foul on Jamari Wheeler  
13:09 +2 Pat Spencer made jump shot 13-13
12:56 +3 Myles Dread made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Izaiah Brockington 13-16
12:35 +2 Pete Nance made jump shot, assist by Boo Buie 15-16
12:25   Izaiah Brockington missed layup, blocked by Pat Spencer  
12:23   Defensive rebound by Pete Nance  
12:18   A.J. Turner missed layup  
12:16   Offensive rebound by Jared Jones  
12:15   Jared Jones missed layup  
12:13   Defensive rebound by Mike Watkins  
12:03   Myles Dread missed 3-pt. jump shot  
12:01   Defensive rebound by Jared Jones  
11:54   A.J. Turner missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:52   Defensive rebound by Curtis Jones Jr.  
11:38   Curtis Jones Jr. missed driving layup  
11:36   Defensive rebound by Pat Spencer  
11:29   Boo Buie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:27   Defensive rebound by Mike Watkins  
11:18   Curtis Jones Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:18   Defensive rebound by Northwestern  
11:03   Bad pass turnover on Boo Buie, stolen by Myles Dread  
11:03   Bad pass turnover on Boo Buie, stolen by Myles Dread  
10:52 +3 Jamari Wheeler made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Myles Dread 15-19
10:36   Personal foul on Seth Lundy  
10:33   Miller Kopp missed fade-away jump shot  
10:31   Offensive rebound by Robbie Beran  
10:31   Lost ball turnover on Robbie Beran  
10:29   Bad pass turnover on Jamari Wheeler  
10:18   Offensive foul on Ryan Young  
10:18   Turnover on Ryan Young  
10:05   Lamar Stevens missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:03   Offensive rebound by John Harrar  
10:03 +2 Lamar Stevens made layup, assist by John Harrar 15-21
10:03   Shooting foul on Boo Buie  
10:03 +1 Lamar Stevens made free throw 15-22
9:42 +2 Robbie Beran made layup, assist by Pat Spencer 17-22
9:42   Shooting foul on Seth Lundy  
9:42   Robbie Beran missed free throw  
9:42   Defensive rebound by Lamar Stevens  
9:30   Myles Dread missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:28   Defensive rebound by Pat Spencer  
9:16   Pat Spencer missed layup  
9:14   Defensive rebound by John Harrar  
9:12 +3 Myles Dread made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jamari Wheeler 17-25
8:47   Defensive rebound by Lamar Stevens  
8:49   Miller Kopp missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:47   Defensive rebound by Lamar Stevens  
8:43   Offensive foul on John Harrar  
8:43   Turnover on John Harrar  
8:28 +2 Ryan Young made layup 19-25
8:21   Lamar Stevens missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:19   Defensive rebound by Pat Spencer  
8:14   Personal foul on Myles Dread  
8:13   Bad pass turnover on Pat Spencer, stolen by Myles Dread  
8:08 +2 Myles Dread made dunk 19-27
7:52   Commercial timeout called  
7:50   Miller Kopp missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:48   Defensive rebound by Mike Watkins  
7:21 +2 Izaiah Brockington made driving layup 19-29
7:09   Robbie Beran missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:07   Defensive rebound by Mike Watkins  
6:50 +2 Mike Watkins made turnaround jump shot, assist by Myles Dread 19-31
6:25   Jared Jones missed layup, blocked by Mike Watkins  
6:25   Defensive rebound by Curtis Jones Jr.  
6:04 +2 Mike Watkins made fade-away jump shot, assist by Curtis Jones Jr. 19-33
5:46   Traveling violation turnover on Boo Buie  
5:31 +2 Lamar Stevens made jump shot 19-35
5:03 +2 Pete Nance made jump shot 21-35
4:31   Offensive foul on Curtis Jones Jr.  
4:31   Turnover on Curtis Jones Jr.  
4:01 +2 Pete Nance made dunk, assist by Pat Spencer 23-35
3:55   Traveling violation turnover on Lamar Stevens  
3:55   Commercial timeout called  
3:46   Boo Buie missed layup, blocked by Jamari Wheeler  
3:45   Offensive rebound by Northwestern  
3:39   Shooting foul on Myles Dread  
3:39   Boo Buie missed 1st of 2 free throws  
3:19   Defensive rebound by Boo Buie  
3:39   Boo Buie missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
3:39   Defensive rebound by Lamar Stevens  
3:21   Izaiah Brockington missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:19   Defensive rebound by Boo Buie  
3:08   Pat Spencer missed jump shot  
3:06   Defensive rebound by John Harrar  
2:44 +2 Lamar Stevens made reverse layup 23-37
2:30   Lost ball turnover on Pat Spencer, stolen by Jamari Wheeler  
2:11 +3 Curtis Jones Jr. made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Izaiah Brockington 23-40
1:49 +2 Pete Nance made turnaround jump shot 25-40
1:29   Curtis Jones Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:27   Offensive rebound by Izaiah Brockington  
1:26   Izaiah Brockington missed layup  
1:24   Offensive rebound by Izaiah Brockington  
1:22 +2 Izaiah Brockington made layup 25-42
1:09   Shooting foul on Curtis Jones Jr.  
1:09   Pat Spencer missed 1st of 2 free throws  
26.0 +2 A.J. Turner made reverse layup 28-42
1:09 +1 Pat Spencer made 2nd of 2 free throws 26-42
56.0   Lamar Stevens missed 3-pt. jump shot  
54.0   Defensive rebound by Ryan Young  
26.0 +2 A.J. Turner made reverse layup 28-42
0.0   Lamar Stevens missed jump shot  
0.0   Defensive rebound by Boo Buie  
0.0   End of period  

Time Team Play Score
19:50   Bad pass turnover on Lamar Stevens  
19:38   Personal foul on Lamar Stevens  
19:20   Boo Buie missed jump shot  
19:18   Defensive rebound by John Harrar  
19:10   Personal foul on Ryan Young  
19:04   Bad pass turnover on Jamari Wheeler, stolen by Robbie Beran  
18:41   Boo Buie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:39   Defensive rebound by John Harrar  
18:27   John Harrar missed hook shot  
18:25   Defensive rebound by Miller Kopp  
18:19 +2 Boo Buie made layup 30-42
17:57 +2 Jamari Wheeler made driving layup 30-44
17:46 +2 Ryan Young made layup, assist by Miller Kopp 32-44
17:31 +2 Lamar Stevens made jump shot 32-46
17:16 +2 Pat Spencer made layup, assist by Miller Kopp 34-46
17:04 +2 Myles Dread made jump shot 34-48
16:46   Bad pass turnover on Pat Spencer, stolen by Seth Lundy  
16:31 +3 Lamar Stevens made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jamari Wheeler 34-51
16:13   Personal foul on John Harrar  
16:01 +2 Ryan Young made hook shot 36-51
15:44   Myles Dread missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:42   Defensive rebound by Ryan Young  
15:35   Boo Buie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:33   Defensive rebound by Lamar Stevens  
15:09   Seth Lundy missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:07   Defensive rebound by Miller Kopp  
15:06   Personal foul on Jamari Wheeler  
15:06   Commercial timeout called  
14:48   Ryan Young missed layup  
14:46   Defensive rebound by Jamari Wheeler  
14:39 +2 Izaiah Brockington made driving layup, assist by Jamari Wheeler 36-53
14:17 +2 Boo Buie made floating jump shot 38-53
13:51   Personal foul on Boo Buie  
13:35   Lamar Stevens missed fade-away jump shot  
13:33   Defensive rebound by Pete Nance  
13:26 +2 Jared Jones made alley-oop shot, assist by Boo Buie 40-53
12:59 +3 Jamari Wheeler made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Lamar Stevens 40-56
12:43   Personal foul on Jamari Wheeler  
12:22   Miller Kopp missed turnaround jump shot  
12:20   Defensive rebound by Mike Watkins  
12:14 +2 Lamar Stevens made driving layup 40-58
11:55   A.J. Turner missed jump shot  
11:53   Offensive rebound by Pete Nance  
11:53 +2 Pete Nance made hook shot 42-58
11:33   Mike Watkins missed layup  
11:31   Defensive rebound by Pete Nance  
11:25 +2 Jared Jones made hook shot 44-58
11:09   30-second timeout called  
11:09   Commercial timeout called  
10:55   Curtis Jones Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:53   Defensive rebound by Pete Nance  
10:33   Offensive foul on Jared Jones  
10:33   Turnover on Jared Jones  
10:33   Commercial timeout called  
10:18   Myles Dread missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:16   Defensive rebound by Jared Jones  
10:17   Personal foul on Mike Watkins  
10:07 +3 Miller Kopp made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by A.J. Turner 47-58
9:33   Shot clock violation turnover on Penn State  
9:03   Bad pass turnover on Miller Kopp, stolen by John Harrar  
9:02   Personal foul on Pat Spencer  
8:43 +2 John Harrar made hook shot, assist by Jamari Wheeler 47-60
8:17   Personal foul on Lamar Stevens  
8:12   Pat Spencer missed jump shot  
8:10   Defensive rebound by Lamar Stevens  
8:03 +2 Lamar Stevens made layup 47-62
8:04   Shooting foul on Ryan Young  
8:04 +1 Lamar Stevens made free throw 47-63
7:52   Personal foul on Jamari Wheeler  
7:52   Commercial timeout called  
7:52 +1 Boo Buie made 1st of 2 free throws 48-63
7:52 +1 Boo Buie made 2nd of 2 free throws 49-63
7:36   John Harrar missed layup, blocked by Robbie Beran  
7:34   Offensive rebound by Izaiah Brockington  
7:26   John Harrar missed jump shot  
7:24   Defensive rebound by Robbie Beran  
7:14   Shooting foul on Seth Lundy  
7:14 +1 Miller Kopp made 1st of 2 free throws 50-63
7:14 +1 Miller Kopp made 2nd of 2 free throws 51-63
7:02   Curtis Jones Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:00   Defensive rebound by Robbie Beran  
6:52 +2 Boo Buie made reverse layup 53-63
6:26   Lamar Stevens missed jump shot  
6:24   Offensive rebound by John Harrar  
6:23   Shooting foul on Ryan Young  
6:23 +1 John Harrar made 1st of 2 free throws 53-64
6:23   John Harrar missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
6:23   Defensive rebound by Pete Nance  
6:10   Bad pass turnover on Pat Spencer, stolen by Jamari Wheeler  
6:04   Myles Dread missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:02   Defensive rebound by Boo Buie  
5:56 +2 Pat Spencer made reverse layup, assist by Boo Buie 55-64
5:33   Jamari Wheeler missed running Jump Shot  
5:31   Defensive rebound by Robbie Beran  
5:16 +2 Pete Nance made jump shot 57-64
4:42 +3 Myles Dread made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Lamar Stevens 57-67
4:24   Pete Nance missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:23   Defensive rebound by Penn State  
4:00   Personal foul on Robbie Beran  
4:00   Commercial timeout called  
4:00 +1 Lamar Stevens made 1st of 2 free throws 57-68
4:00 +1 Lamar Stevens made 2nd of 2 free throws 57-69
3:45   Robbie Beran missed driving dunk, blocked by Lamar Stevens  
3:43   Defensive rebound by Mike Watkins  
3:40   Shooting foul on Pete Nance  
3:40   Lamar Stevens missed 1st of 2 free throws  
3:40 +1 Lamar Stevens made 2nd of 2 free throws 57-70
3:21   Pat Spencer missed turnaround jump shot