Pat Chambers struggled to explain why his Penn State team has experienced success on the road in Big Ten play.
A stifling defensive effort by the Nittany Lions against Northwestern Thursday at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill., was exactly what they needed. The Wildcats had no answer for Penn State's zone as the Nittany Lions cruised to a 59-32 win.
The five road wins for Penn State (15-15, 6-11) are the most since the six it won in 2008-09.
"We play better on the road than we do at home," Chambers said. "It's wild. It's crazy. It's probably because we're by ourselves and we're more close together and tight knit."
The Nittany Lions' 2-3 zone defense frustrated Northwestern all game. The Wildcats' 32 points were a season low and the fewest scored by any team in Big Ten play this season. Northwestern (12-18, 5-12) shot 23.3 percent from the field.
Balanced scoring helped the Nittany Lions pick apart Northwestern. They shot 50 percent from the field and were led by D.J. Newbill's 12 points. Tim Frazier and Brandon Taylor each added 11.
"At the end of the year, you're hoping your defense gets to this point," Chambers said. "If you take away 3s, we're in the top one or two in defensive field-goal percentage. We have a better understanding of our rotations. When guys are out there talking and I can hear them talking, that's when you know they're dialed in."