The Takeaway–Penn State–Northwestern
Northwestern has put a good run in this year, but honestly you can’t expect to win if you can’t hit your shots, and the only shots you take are threes. In a game the Lions actually needed to win to help out their post season chances, (assuming you’re banking on a 4 game win streak that is) they put on a clinic hitting most of their first half shots and limiting the Wildcats offensive production.
The first half Penn State did whatever they wanted. Inside-outside, you name it, they moved the ball, shared the load, and made crisp sharp passes. In return Northwestern took 7 shots from inside the arc in the first half and only managed to stay in the game by hitting their threes.
John Shurna was a non issue going 2-11 in the game and pulling down 5 rebounds. In both games this season the Lions have done a good job shutting Shurna down and limiting his production. Northwestern has gone as Shurna has gone, so Penn State really only had to worry about making sure he didn’t get into rhythm. Michael Thompson did a good job picking up the slack scoring 21 points, but he was the only Wildcat in double digits on the day.
Chris Babb played great; he went 4/5 from behind the arc and had 3 blocks, 2 steals, and 2 assists. On the whole Babb is turning into a better version of Danny Morrissey, not to take anything away from Danny, but Babb is turning into a consistent shooter like Danny, but with a high defensive IQ. His development will be critical for the Lions success next season.
On the whole this game shouldn’t have come as a big surprise; Penn State has had Northwestern’s number for a while now.