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Northwestern vs. Penn State GameThread

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The Wildcats (11-2) meet the Nittany Lions (8-5) to open Big Ten play.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Time for some Big Ten basketball.

After impressing in their non-conference portion that included wins over Dayton, Texas and Wake Forest, the Northwestern Wildcats (11-2) look to start conference play on the right foot, facing off against the Penn State Nittany Lions (8-5).

While the non-conference season was a success in general, it wasn't without challenges for Chris Collins. His team lost three-point marksman Aaron Falzon for the remainder of the season after just a few games, and his starting center, Dererk Pardon, has been sidelined for the past month or so with a hand injury. Pardon is expected to return sometime around the start of Big Ten play, but his status for today's game is uncertain.

Penn State has provided a tougher-than-expected challenge for the Wildcats in recent years, and the two teams split two meeting last year with both squads winning on the road. Penn State has a talented freshman group and a very good guard in Shep Garner, but they'll have to play better on the defensive end than they have to date in order to beat the Wildcats.

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