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Joe Graham works the paint against Wisconsin.
Feb. 19, 2012
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Josh Gasser scored 15 points and No. 15 Wisconsin held off Penn State 65-55 on Sunday.
Jared Berggren added 13 points, and Ryan Evans and Jordan Taylor scored 11 each for the Badgers (20-7, 9-5 Big Ten), who have won eight of their last 10 games and maintained their grip on fourth place in the conference.
Tim Frazier scored 20 points for the Nittany Lions (12-16, 4-11), who used a 17-2 run in the second half to cut the lead to 51-46 with 5:49 remaining. That's as close as it would get, as Berggren hit a pair of 3-pointers to help Wisconsin close with a 14-9 run.
"Those were daggers," Penn State coach Pat Chambers said of Berggren's 3s.
Frazier became the first Lions player to eclipse 500 points, 150 assists and 50 steals in the same year, but it wasn't enough for Penn State. The Lions came in riding their first two-game win streak since Dec. 18-21 but remain winless in Madison since 1995, a span of 15 games.
The Nittany Lions fell to 1-10 on the road overall and 0-8 in conference.
Wisconsin, meanwhile, reached the 20-win plateau for the sixth straight season and ninth time in coach Bo Ryan's 11 seasons. Prior to Ryan's arrival in 2001-02, the Badgers had a total of four 20-win seasons.
Neither team set the nets on fire early - each missing eight of its first 12 shots - but Wisconsin found its perimeter shot, netting a 3-pointer on five straight possessions. The biggest catalyst was Gasser, who hit a 3-pointer on three straight possessions that put the Badgers on a 15-2 run, building a 27-13 lead after 13 minutes.
It was a welcome boost for Gasser, who hadn't scored in double figures the last six games and was shooting only 37 percent over that stretch. He helped Wisconsin shoot 48 percent in the first half, make 7 of 14 from 3-point range and had assists on nine of their 12 field goals.
Taylor, who shot 3 for 13 in Thursday's loss at No. 7 Michigan State, hit a 3-pointer to open the second half but again struggled from the floor, going 4 for 12.
Wisconsin survived a 32-8 disadvantage in points in the paint by making 11 3-pointers and shooting 42.6 percent overall - its best shooting percentage in the last six games.
Wisconsin outrebounded Penn State 38-27 thanks in large part to Mike Bruesewitz's career-high 12 rebounds.
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