Northwestern crawled out of the Big Ten basement just in time for the match-up with Penn State. Riding a two-game winning streak, the Wildcats have found defensive success through implementation of a 2-3 zone during the last couple weeks. It's likely that NU will utilize the zone again Saturday against a poor-shooting Nittany Lion squad.
The Wildcats have recently found their shooting stroke. The team hit a total of 15 three pointers against Minnesota Wednesday, including three from Nathan Taphorn, three from Vic Law and four from Bryant McIntosh. JerShon Cobb missed the Minnesota contest and Chris Collins said his availability will be determined on a game-to-game basis. With or without Cobb, the Wildcats should have a good shot at extending their winning streak to three games.
Penn State enters Welsh-Ryan Arena following a pair of close losses to the Big Ten's best. Last Saturday they fell to Maryland 76-73 and Wisconsin dropped PSU 55-47 Wednesday, both games occurring in State College. D.J. Newbill, the only Nittany Lion averaging in double figures with 21.1 ppg, racked up 54 points on 21-38 shooting in the two contests. If Northwestern does use the zone again, the wings will have to always know the location of PSU's star senior guard.
Here's how to watch NU and Penn State:
Time: 2 p.m. CT
Radio: 720 WGN, wgnradio.com and WNUR 89.3 FM
Line: Wildcats are 1.5 point favorites
KenPom: KenPom gives Northwestern a 56-percent chance to come out victorious. The projected score is Northwestern 62, Penn State 61.
Check back here at around 1:50 CT to chat with us on our gamethread.