The first half at Welsh-Ryan Arena was all about defense for Northwestern. The Wildcats currently lead the Nittany Lions 28 to 20 with 15 of Penn State’s points coming off of three pointers. After jumping out to an early lead of 12-6, Penn State could not penetrate the Cats’ interior defense. They settled for contested three pointers and finished the half with only 2 baskets in the paint.
Vic Law had a huge impact on the first half both offensively and defensively. While he did add a steal and a deflection, more importantly he led the Cats’ in scoring with 9 points off of 4 for 5 shooting. This is Law’s second straight game coming off the bench and it seems to be working.
They key for the Wildcats in the second half will be to continue shutting down driving and passing lanes on the defensive end. If Penn State has to continue shooting low-percentage shots around the arc because they can’t penetrate, the Cats can keep, or even extend, their lead. The Cats’ took good shots in the first half but Olah and Demps need to do a better job finishing under the basket if they are going to be able to hold off Penn State for twenty more minutes.