EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) – Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill each scored 18 points to lead Penn State to a 66-59 victory over Northwestern Thursday night.
Penn State (10-19, 2-15 Big Ten), last in the 12-team conference, scored the game’s first 12 points, withstood a Northwestern surge, then pulled away in the second half. The Nittany Lions’ only other conference win was at home against No. 7 Michigan on Feb. 27.
Northwestern (13-17, 4-13) has lost seven in a row and nine of its last 10.
Alex Marcotullio, who scored a career-high 22 points, put the Wildcats ahead 54-53 with a 3-pointer with 6:13 to play. But Penn State scored the next six points, beginning with Sasa Borovnjak’s short jumper, and scored 13 of the game’s last 18 points. Borovnjak had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Reggie Hearn, who scored 11 points before fouling out with 3:07 to play, was the only other Northwestern player in double figures.
Newbill opened the game with a jumper and a 3-pointer to kick off Penn State’s 12-point outburst. The Nittany Lions controlled the boards throughout, holding a 35-21 advantage.
Northwestern rallied to take the lead for the first time on Kyle Abrahamson’s layup with 4:46 left in a sloppy first half. His basket capped a 9-0 run that included a game-tying 3-pointer by Dave Sobolewski. It was one of the few sequences of quality play by either team in a half that included 10 turnovers by each team.
Penn State came back and led 34-30 at the half after Marshall’s drive to the basket in the final seconds. The last four points started an 11-point Lions run that extended into the second half.
Marcotullio’s previous career high was an 18-point showing against Minnesota March 2, 2011.
Northwestern ended its home season with an 8-11 record in coach Bill Carmody’s 13th season. The Wildcats visit No. 10 Michigan State on Sunday, while Penn State hosts No. 22 Wisconsin on Sunday.