Nittany Lions Drop Overtime Heartbreaker at No. 18 Wisconsin

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Jan. 24, 2010

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MADISON, WISC., Jan. 24, 2010 - The Nittany Lion basketball team (8-11; 0-7 Big Ten) held a 16-point second half lead but couldn't come away with the win for the second time in conference play as Penn State gave No. 18 ranked Wisconsin all it wanted and more before falling in overtime, 79-71, Sunday in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin (16-4; 6-2 Big Ten) improved to 51-0 vs. unranked Big Ten teams at the Kohl Center under head coach Bo Ryan and extended its home-court win streak to 17 games as Jordan Taylor scored 18 of his 20 points in the final two minutes and overtime to fuel a late 15-0 Wisconsin run, 8-0 in the final two minutes of regulation, that sent the game to overtime and built an insurmountable overtime lead.

Penn State led by 16 points, 52-36, with 11:07 to play and held an eight-point lead, 60-52, with 2:02 to left after Talor Battle scored six-straight points and fed Andrew Ott for a crowd silencing dunk. But, Taylor hit two huge threes and a jumper in the final two minutes to tie the game at 60. Battle, who logged a game-high 28 points in 44 minutes on the night, had a long three to win the game in regulation, but came up just short.

Battle had a game highs of eight rebounds and six assists as he hit 11-of-23 from the floor and 4-of-8 from three to log his Big Ten leading ninth 20-point game of the season and the 25th of his career. Chris Babb added a career-high 16 points and David Jackson 12 for Penn State, which lost its 13th straight game in Madison and its 12th straight overall in the series. Battle moved into 12th place on Penn State's all-time scoring charts on the day passing Calvin Booth (1,288; 1995-99) and John Amaechi (1,310). Battle now has 1,314 career points, just 28 shy of reaching the top 10.

Trevon Hughes had 22 points for Wisconsin, including a couple huge threes in a 15-0 second half Badger run and a big three-point play in overtime. Keaton Nankivil posted 17 and Jason Bohannon 13 for a Badger team that got out-rebounded 38-24 and out-shot 51.8 percent to 43.3 percent, but used a season-high 18 Nittany Lion turnovers (12 in the second half) and 12 steals to score 33 points and held a 17-6 scoring advantage at the free throw line.

Penn State expanded an eight-point halftime lead to 12 just over three minutes into the second half when Babb converted a four-point play after being fouled by Taylor on a three-point shot. The Badgers cut the lead to 39-31 before Penn State posted a 7-0 run, getting five straight points from Bill Edwards and another Babb jumper, to take a 46-31 lead with 14:35 to play in front of a restless Badger crowd.

The Lions eventually extended the lead to 16 on a David Jackson lay-up off an assist from Battle and the Nittany Lions looked in position to pull of a huge upset.

The Badgers rallied with a furious 15-0 run as Penn State went scoreless for the next five minutes and saw Wisconsin start to pour everything in from outside. Hughes hit two threes, Rob Wilson one and Nankivil a pair of baseline jumpers as the Kohl Center roared and the Lions found their lead whittled to one, 52-51, with 6:55 to play.

Battle responded, breaking the run with a jumper and then using a spin move to get in the lane before wrapping an impossible shot around Nankivil and banking it high off the glass. Battle would score six straight points and feed Ott for a thunderous dunk that capped an 8-1 run and stunned the Wisconsin crowd. Penn State led 60-52 with 2:02 to play and was streaking.

Then Taylor appeared. Having scored just two points on the night to that point, he rained in a pair of threes. Then Wisconsin capitalized on a traveling call on Ott who looked to be in position for a crippling lay-up after another feed from Battle.

Taylor's jumper with 26 seconds to play tied the game. Penn State had the last possession and Battle ran down the clock before pulling a 20-foot three from the top of the key over Taylor. It came up just short.

Wisconsin breathed a sigh of relief and then promptly turned to Taylor who hit another big three and a jumper to complete a 15-0 Wisconsin run over the final two minutes of regulation and 1:30 of the extra period to seize a 67-60 lead. Penn State clawed back within five three times, the last on a Battle three with 53 seconds to play, but could get no closer.

Penn State stunned the Kohl Center crowd shooting 60 percent from the floor (4-of-6 from three) in the first half to take a 33-25 lead to halftime. Wisconsin shot miserably most of the half, but crept up to 40 percent by the buzzer.

Battle led all scorers with 15 points, including a spurt of three-straight three pointers that fueled an 11-0 Nittany Lion run and gave Penn State a 26-16 lead with 7:00 minutes to play in the half. Penn State eventually built the margin to as much as 13 before Wisconsin closed with the final five points of the half.

The teams played close through the first 10 minutes. Penn State took a four-point lead on buckets by David Jackson and Battle, but Wisconsin used a 5-0 run capped by a Hughes three to claim a 16-15 lead.

Penn State then took control as the Badger went nearly five minutes without scoring and Battle started knocking down threes in transition. His 21-footer with 9:00 to play put Penn State up 24-16 and then Jackson buried a 17-foot baseline jumper for a 26-16 lead.

After Rob Wilson broke the drought for Wisconsin, Penn State got a jumper from Bill Edwards in the lane and a long three from Chris Babb to open a 13-point lead, 31-18, with 3:32 to play. Penn State again went up 13 when Andrew Ott fed Battle for a lay-up. The Badgers closed with a three from Jason Bohannon and jumper from Keaton Nankivil to get within eight at the half.

Hughes led the Badgers with nine points in the half. Penn State got eight from Jackson and dominated the boards posting a 17-7 advantage led by four rebounds from Edwards.

Penn State will return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday to take on Illinois in a 6:30 p.m. tip on the Big Ten Network. The Illini will bring a 12-8 record (4-3 Big Ten) into the game after falling at Northwestern on Saturday. The two teams have played a series of close games of late with the last six outings being decided by just 2.1 ppg and four one-point games. Illinois claimed a thrilling 54-53 victory in Champaign on January 12. Penn State has won the last two meeting at the Jordan Center, including knocking of the No. 23-ranked Illini on a last second shot by Talor Battle last year.

Penn State season basketball tickets, PNC Bank Flex Book plans (10 tickets to use at any game for $99) or single game tickets can be purchased by visiting, Ticketmaster or calling 814-865-5555. Single-game tickets for Nittany Lion games are $18 for lower bowl seating, $15 for upper bowl seating and $7/$5 for youth. Penn State also offers special group ticket rates (15 fans or more) of $10 for adults.




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