Nittany Lions Fall To Wisconsin, 63-46, In Big Ten Home Opener
Jan. 3, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Jan. 3, 2010 - The Nittany Lion basketball team could not carry its good free throw shooting into the new year as Penn State hit just 7-of-19 (36%) from the line and 35 percent from the floor in falling 63-46 to No. 23 Wisconsin Sunday in its Big Ten home opener at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Talor Battle (Albany, N.Y.) logged 15 points, four assists and four rebounds and David Jackson (Farrell, Pa.) had 13 points and five boards for Penn State, but the Nittany Lion bench was outscored 19-3 and Wisconsin hit 47 percent from the floor in recording its 11th straight victory over Penn State. Wisconsin, which led by double-digits for most of the second half, was led by 18 points, seven assists and five board from Trevon Hughes and 11 points on three treys from Jason Bohannon.
Penn State fell to 0-2 in the Big Ten and 8-6 on the season while the Badgers improved to 12-2 and 2-0 in the conference and will likely make a jump in the rankings after a resounding victory over No. 15 Ohio State earlier in the week.
"When we had open shots, we didn't make them," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said. "We had free throws, we didn't make them. It's really hard to win when you're shooting 36 percent from the free throw line. I think the big thing to me is that we only got three points off the bench. They had 19 points off the bench. It's not like they scored. They scored 63 points. They didn't score 100. It just came back to us - 35 percent from the floor, 26 from three - it's just hard to win and it affects you. You keep trying to guard, guard, guard because you're not making anything at our end."
Battle opened the scoring with a three-pointer, but the Nittany Lions would not lead again for the next 37 minutes as Wisconsin played solid defense and systematically executed its swing offense.
The Badgers used a 10-0 run early capped by threes from Jordan Taylor and Bohannon and a lay-up from Hughes to take an 18-7 lead with 12:44 to play in the half.
Penn State worked its way back within six after a jumper by Jackson and a Jeff Brook put back and trailed just 22-16 with 9:22 to play. But, Bohannon knocked down a three and Keaton Nankivil got a put-back to rebuild the margin to 11.
Another Battle three and a Brooks lay-up off a nice pass from Chris Babb to Penn State back within six, 27-21, with 5:35 to play, but the Lions missed their last six shots of the half and went just 1-of-3 at the line as the Badgers rebuilt a double-digit lead and took a 34-22 lead to the half after Ryan Evans' jumper with 1:10 to play.
The Badgers pounced early in the second half with Jon Leuer, who played just six first half minutes due to foul trouble, hitting an opening three just eight seconds in. The Badgers maintained a double-digit lead until Babb hit a three and Andrew Jones got one of two at the line to draw the Lions within nine, 49-40, with 10:59 to play. But, the Lions would play the next seven minutes without scoring and three's from Tim Jarmusz and Hughes quickly put the Badgers back up by 15, 55-40. Penn State missed four shots from the floor and committed three turnovers during the drought as Wisconsin built a 16-point lead, 56-40, on a Leuer free throw with 5:11 to play.
Penn State would never get closer than 13 the rest of the way as the Lions went 1-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-9 from the foul line in the final 11 minutes of the game.
Penn State will return to the Jordan Center on Thursday when the Nittany Lions take on Michigan at 7:00 p.m. in a game televised nationally on ESPN2. Penn State downed Michigan 73-58 last year in the BJC and has won two of the last three meetings with the Wolverines.