STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Scottie Lindsey scored 17 of his 31 points in the first half and Northwestern beat Penn State, 87-77, on Tuesday in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Vic Law added 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Wildcats (12-2), who won their ninth straight.
Josh Reaves led Penn State (8-6) with 22 points while Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens added 15 and 12, respectively.
Penn State couldn’t keep up with Northwestern’s scoring pace as the Nittany Lions shot just 25 for 60 (41.7 percent) from the field.
Lindsey made 5 of 8 3-pointers, with three in the second half where the Wildcats led by 20 or more for long stretches.
Isiah Brown and Nathan Taphorn hit 3-pointers on back-to-back Northwestern possessions with less than a minute left in the first half to help build a 51-32 lead.
Penn State mounted a 20-7 run over the final 5:16, capped by a layup and free throw from Shep Garner.
THE BIG PICTURE
Northwestern: The Wildcats are on a roll. Their only two losses have come by a combined six points to teams ranked in the Top 25 and they appear to have all the parts to make a run at a Big Ten title. They’ll be tested early with four of their next six on the road.
Penn State: Nittany Lions coach Pat Chambers said before the Big Ten season starter that he wouldn’t know how a tough non-conference schedule would benefit his team that includes three freshmen starters. He’ll likely need more time to evaluate as the Nittany Lions try to surpass the 7-11 Big Ten finish from last season, Chambers’ best in his five full seasons in Happy Valley.
Northwestern travels to Michigan State on Friday.
Penn State plays at Rutgers on Sunday.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.