Tuesday's basketball: Northwestern rolls in Big Ten opener

Detroit News wire services
Rutgers' Corey Sanders, behind, reaches for the ball held by Wisconsin's Zak Showalter during the first half on Tuesday in Madison, Wis.

State College, Pa. — For a moment following Northwestern’s 87-77 victory over Penn State on Tuesday night, it sounded like Chris Collins was going to go down his lineup and offer praise for every player on the stat sheet in front of him.

He would’ve had good reason to do so.

The Wildcats (12-2, 1-0 Big Ten) blew past the Nittany Lions in the conference opener for their ninth consecutive victory, looking like a team capable of doing damage in the Big Ten in the process.

Northwestern started fast, maintained its rapid-transition game for much of the second half and built a big enough lead to withstand a gutsy late run from the Nittany Lions.

Scottie Lindsey scored 17 of his 31 points in the first half, Vic Law added 12 points and 12 rebounds and Gavin Skelly and Bryant McIntosh chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Wildcats.

Josh Reaves led Penn State (8-6, 0-1) with 22 points.

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(At) No. 14 Wisconsin 72, Rutgers 52: Nigel Hayes scored 20, Zak Showalter added 18 and Wisconsin used an active start on the defensive end to build an early lead.

(At) Maryland 84, Illinois 59: Melo Trimble scored 20 and Jaylen Brantley added 13 as Maryland routed Illinois. It was the sixth victory in a row for the Terrapins (13-1). Malcolm Hill scored 21 for the Illini (10-4).