It wasn't the prettiest win in the world, but it will do.
Penn State kept its postseason hopes alive Thursday night when it earned a sweep of Northwestern with a 66-52 victory against the Wildcats in Evanston, Ill.
Jeff Brooks led a balanced Penn State attack with 20 points and seven rebounds. Tim Frazier posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists and seniors Talor Battle and David Jackson cracked double figures with 13 and 12 points respectively.
The Nittany Lions (15-12, 8-8) opened the game on an 18-2 run, but promptly watched Northwestern go on a run of its own to pull within three by halftime. In the second half, though, Penn State managed to pull away gradually as Northwestern's zone failed to contain a Lion team that managed 57.8% shooting for the evening.
Penn State also dominated the boards, especially in the second half, earning a 28-19 advantage on the evening. That, combined with a 38.5% shooting night for the Wildcats kept Northwestern from ever mounting a serious charge and the Lions ahead wire to wire.
Next up for Penn State will be No. 3 Ohio State back at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday evening. It will be senior night for the team's five seniors and it's shaping up to be the Lions' biggest game of the season. If they can steal a win, they'll travel to Minnesota for the season finale with a chance to earn a sixth top 50 RPI win before heading to the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis to solidify what would be a respectable NCAA Tournament resume.
If they lose, the pressure will really be on in Minneapolis before heading to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks.