Slumping Cats lose to Penn State again

STATE COLLEGE—Talor Battle had 16 points and six assists and hot-shooting Penn State easily exploited Northwestern’s defense in a 79-60 win on Sunday.Jeff Brooks added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Nittany Lions (11-17, 3-13 Big Ten), who shot 57 percent to secure its fourth straight win over the Wildcats. Juice Thompson had 21 points for Northwestern (18-11, 7-10). Their already faint hopes for a bid to the NCAA tournament were all but extinguished after a second loss this season to the conference’s last-place team.Only 3-point shooting went NU’s way during an otherwise terrible afternoon. They opened 7 of 11 from long range to stay within 27-24 with 7:45 in the first half.But the 3s stopped falling, and Penn State found holes in Northwestern’s zone.Penn State led by 14 at the half and by 25 with 8 minutes left in the game.Now the Cats must hope they haven’t blown a possible NIT birth with their late season free fall.