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Jan. 31, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; Jan. 31, 2012 - Playing its fourth-straight ranked opponent, Penn State (10-13; 2-8) started hot, led for most of the first half, and were within two with 3:36 to play but couldn't make enough shots in falling, 52-46, to No. 19 Wisconsin (18-5; 7-3) Tuesday night in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State was led by Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) with 21 points and seven assists, including 17 of the Lions' 23 second-half points. Frazier increased his Big Ten leading total of 20-point games on the year to 11. The Lions fell for the third straight game, equaling their longest losing skid of the season, and became the first team in the NCAA this season to play four-straight ranked foes.
The Badgers, who remained a half a game out of first place in the Big Ten and posted their sixth straight win, were led by 18 points and five assists from Jordan Taylor who made several big plays late.
Penn State held Wisconsin to 27 percent shooting and 17 points in the first half, equaling a season low for a Lion opponent, to lead 23-17 at the half. But, after a strong 46 percent shooting clip in the first half, Penn State hit just one of its first 13 attempts in the second half and finished shooting 27 percent in the second 20 minutes as Wisconsin pulled ahead. Both teams shot around 36 percent and the Lions won the rebounding battle, 36-31, but the Badgers out-scored Penn State by nine points from behind the arc and by five at the free throw line for the difference. Penn State hit just 2-of-10 from three and converted 12 offensive rebounds into just two second chance points.
"I thought we played hard and I thought we played pretty good defense," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "I thought we did some good things. I thought we got good shots. We've got to make shots.
"We worked hard the last few days and I think it was noticeable. We worked hard on our offense. I think that was noticeable. There was a lot more movement - we got a lot more open shots. Guys have got to get in the gym. They have to shoot extra. They have to do what they got to do. We just can't keep going on this path."
Chambers coached the game wearing black Nikes, white socks, rolled up khakis, white shirt, blue blazer and a striped blue and white time reminiscent of a Penn State legend.
"It was a tribute to coach Paterno," He said. "What he has done and what he has meant to this University. It is also awareness - Coaches vs. Cancer awareness. I wanted to bring that the forefront, and make sure that people know that I'm on board and we are working very hard with Coaches vs. Cancer and do whatever we can to beat cancer."
Jermaine Marshall's jumper at the 10:24 mark of the first half started a 10-0 scoring spree for the Lions that gave them an 18-9 lead. Marshall had 10 of his 13 points in the game in the first half. He scored six points in the run and fed Jon Graham for a lay-up.
Wisconsin ended the run with a Taylor three and, after a foul from Marshall gave Wisconsin's Mike Bruesewitz an and-one three-point play, brought the score to 18-15. Frazier fed Graham for a dunk and Nick Collela hit a three-pointer at the 1:20 mark off another assist from Frazier who had six in the half.
Wisconsin's Taylor ended the first half an offensive rebound and buzzer-beating put-back making the score 23-17. The Lions came out cold in the first half hitting just one of their first 13 shots through the first 10 minutes as Wisconsin seized control. Frazier was the only Nittany Lion to score in the first 13 minutes of the half.
Wisconsin quickly cut the Lions lead to one, 24-23, after a pair of baskets from Jared Berggren and a jumper from Ryan Evans.
Frazier answered with a runner in the lane and the Lions held a slim 26-23 lead with with 16:15 to play. Penn State would not score again for nearly seven minutes as Wisconsin used a 10-0 run to seize a 33-26 lead with 11:22 left. Back-to-back threes from Frank Kaminsky and Rob Wilson capped the run.
Penn State turned to Frazier who began to hit his patented runner in the lane to keep the Lions within striking distance. After four-straight free throws, two from Cammeron Woodyard and two from Frazier, the Lions were within two, 36-34, with 5:37 left.
The Lions stayed close over the next two minutes and were again within two, 40-38, after another Frazier jumper with 3:36 to play. Frazier played good defense on Taylor on the next possession forcing a miss. The Lions would fail on four chances to tie or take the lead.
Frazier missed a tough lay-up. Jon Graham grabbed the board and was fouled on the put-back. Graham missed both free throws at the line. Travis rebounded the second miss and the Lions worked the ball to Marshall for a three. He missed, but Travis again gained the rebound. Marshall drove baseline and left the lay-up on the front of the rim. Berggren rebounded and 30 seconds later Taylor hit a top-of-the-key three that gave Wisconsin a 43-38 lead with 1:44 to play and effectively ended the Lions threat.
"It was huge," Chambers said of the shot. "We didn't come over the top of the ball screen. He's a winner - he is a winner. He made winning plays, and that's why Wisconsin is leaving here with a win."
Penn State got no closer than four the rest of the way as Taylor hit 6-of-8 at the line in the closing minute.
Penn State will return to action Saturday when the Lions travel to Iowa for a 3:00 p.m. tip on the Big Ten Network.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets or group tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level tickets for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5. Penn State also offers special basketball group ticket rates for groups of 15 fans or more. Nittany Lion group rates are $10 for adults and $5 for youth.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.