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|Northwestern Falls to Penn State; NCAA Tourney Hopes Fade
|EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- David Jackson and Chris Babb scored 20 points each as Penn State snapped a 12-game losing streak with an 81-70 victory over Northwestern Wednesday night, dealing perhaps a fatal blow to the Wildcats' NCAA tournament chances.
Aiming for the first tournament bid in school history, Northwestern (17-9, 6-8 Big Ten) has sandwiched losses to league doormats Iowa and Penn State around an overtime victory over mediocre Minnesota.
Penn State (9-16, 1-12) finally won in conference play despite getting only 10 points from Talor Battle. The Big Ten's leading scorer came in averaging 20.3 and had scored at a 23.5-point clip the last eight games.
The Nittany Lions had lost five conference games by six points or fewer partly because they were the Big Ten's worst free-throw shooting team at 64.3 percent. But they went 20 for 23 from the line Wednesday, and shot 56 percent from the floor.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)