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    Northwestern Drops Big Ten Opener to Penn State, 83-57

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Ivan Tolic goes for a rebound in the first half against Penn State. (AP Photo/The Centre Daily Times, Christopher Weddle)
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Ivan Tolic goes for a rebound in the first half against Penn State. (AP Photo/The Centre Daily Times, Christopher Weddle)
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Jan. 3, 2007

    Box Score

    UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Despite six 3-point field goals from sophomore guard Craig Moore, Northwestern was unable to start the Big Ten season with a victory. The Wildcats (10-4, 0-1) dropped an 83-57 decision at Penn State Wednesday night. Danny Morrissey scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Nittany Lions (10-4, 1-0).

    Vince Scott added 11 points and Jeremy Nash scored a season-high 10 points off the bench for Northwestern who welcomes Michigan to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT.

    The Lions shot 61 percent in the first half and were shooting 80 percent in the second half through the first 15 minutes. They shot 64 percent for the game overall and 58 percent from behind the arc.

    Morrissey, whose previous career-high was 22 points against Minnesota nearly two years ago, started a second-half run with a 3-pointer that saw the Nittany Lions extend their 12-point halftime lead into a 26-point lead.

    The largest lead of the game for Penn State (10-4 overall, 1-0 Big 10) was 34 points, when David Jackson went coast-to-coast for a layup with five minutes left in the game.

    The Wildcats (10-4, 0-1) came into the contest ranked fourth in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 51.6 points per game, but Northwestern allowed a season-high 83 points by Penn State.

    The Nittany Lions opened a double-digit first-half lead behind its 2-3 zone defense and some outstanding play from Morrissey. He scored 11 points in the opening half, including a steal and layup with three seconds left in the first half to put Penn State up 36-24 at the break.

    The Nittany Lions played well on defense all game, holding the Wildcats without a field goal for almost 12 minutes in the second half.

     

     

    (The Associated Press contributed to this story)