Boo Buie scored 15 points and dished six assists as Northwestern held on for a 68-63 win over Penn State in a Big Ten Conference matchup Sunday afternoon in Evanston, Ill.
Brooks Barnhizer and Ryan Langborg scored 14 points apiece for Northwestern (17-7, 8-5). Matt Nicholson and Nic Martinelli added 11 points apiece as the Wildcats improved to 7-0 in Big Ten games at home this season.
Nick Kern Jr. scored 18 points to lead Penn State (12-12, 6-7). Ace Baldwin Jr. finished with 17 points and eight assists, and Zach Hicks scored 14.
The Wildcats increased their lead to eight points with 11:01 remaining. Barnhizer grabbed a defensive rebound, and Buie converted on the other end with a layup to make it 48-40.
Penn State pulled within 54-53 with 4:08 to go. Baldwin had a steal, and Kern drained a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one.
The Wildcats held firm. Langborg made a 3-pointer to increase Northwestern’s lead to 57-53 with 3:47 left, and Nicholson scored on a dunk to make it 59-53 with 2:58 left.
Another Northwestern dunk, this time by Barnhizer, increased the Wildcats’ lead to 61-53 with 39 seconds to go.
Baldwin hit a 3-pointer nine seconds later to pull Penn State within 61-56.
The Nittany Lions continued to chip at the lead, cutting the deficit to 64-60 with 11 seconds left.
Langborg made two free throws one second later, and Hicks made a 3-pointer to bring Penn State within 66-63 with two seconds to go.
Buie made two more free throws to finish the scoring.
Northwestern led 29-27 at the half.
The Nittany Lions jumped to a 7-2 lead to start the game. That would prove to be their biggest lead of the afternoon.
Northwestern battled back to take its first lead at 10-8 with 14:02 remaining in the first half. Luke Hunger made a 3-pointer off a pass from Buie.
The Wildcats pulled ahead 29-25 on a three-point play by Buie with 1:17 to go before the break.
Baldwin made a pair of free throws eight seconds later to finish the first-half scoring.