Wildcats Survive; Tournament Hopes Alive

The Wildcats survived a scare from Penn State. NU leaves Happy Valley with a 67-66 victory over the bottom-dwelling Nittany Lions, keeping its NCAA tournament hopes in tact.

Northwestern's NCAA tournament hopes are still alive.

John Shurna hit two free throws to put the Wildcats ahead by one point, and Tim Frazier's desperation heave fell short. NU survived a scare from Penn State (12-17, 4-12) to earn a 67-66 win in Happy Valley.

Penn State forward Jon Graham missed two free throws which would have given the Nittany Lions a three-point lead with 14 seconds remaining in the game. On the other end of the court, Graham fouled Shurna, putting him to the charity stripe with three seconds left. Shurna would help secure the Wildcat win.

Shurna posted 23 points, tying for a game-high with Penn State point guard Tim Frazier. 16 of those points game in the second half.

Northwestern controlled the lead in the second half until the eight-minute mark in the second half, when the Nittany Lions ahead, using a 18-6 run to take a 52-49 lead. NU used three-pointers from John Shurna and Alex Marcotullio to jump in front.

The Nittany Lions took their last lead of the game with just under three minutes remaining, as Tim Frazier completed a three-point play on a jumper. Their offense was held silent going forward.

With the win, Northwestern's hopes to reach the NCAA tournament remain very much in tact. An upset of No. 6 Ohio State would likely solidify a seed in the Big Dance.

Tipoff for NU's Senior Night contest with the Buckeyes is set for 7:00, Wednesday night, at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college football, college basketball and college baseball for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2009. He served as a writer for Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics, and is now the Publisher of PurpleWildcats.com, covering the Northwestern Wildcats.
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