Penn State Falls To No. 10 Wisconsin, 76-66
Feb. 20, 2011
Madison, Wisc., February 20, 2011 - Penn State (14-12: 7-8 Big Ten) ran up against a red-hot Keaton Nankivil and Jon Leuer Sunday in Madison as the pair both scored 22 points to lead No. 10 Wisconsin (20-6; 10-4 Big Ten) to a 76-66 victory.
Talor Battle led Penn State with 23 points, 20 in the second half, and tied his career-high with seven threes in a second-straight game. Battle hit six of those threes in the second half and four in the final three minutes to cut what had been a 19-point Badger lead with 5:41 to play to nine, 72-63, with 56 seconds to play.
Jeff Brooks went 8-of-9 from the floor for 16 points despite battling foul trouble all night and sitting for 10 minutes with two fouls in the first half. Tim Frazier equaled a season-high with 12 points and added a team-high six rebounds and four assists.
Wisconsin posted its 14th straight victory over Penn State in Madison. Nankivil hit his first five from the floor and finished 8-of-9 from the field, 5-of-5 from three, for 22 points. Leuer went 8-of-14 for his 22 and added 10 rebounds. The Badgers shot 54 percent for the game and 8-of-15 (53%) from three.
Penn State struggled to stay within hailing distance in the first half as the Lions hit just 38 percent, but Penn State warmed up considerably late to shoot 64 percent in the second half and 53 percent for the game. The Lions went 11-of-22 from three a game after hitting a season-high 12 threes in a victory over Minnesota.
Wisconsin came out blazing in the first half hitting five of their first six from the floor to take an 11-8 lead. Penn State hung close with early threes from Frazier and Battle but couldn't keep pace with the Badgers' 54 percent shooting in the half and a 4-of-4 performance from Nankivil who finished with 11 first half points.
Back-to-back threes from Nankivil opened up a 17-9 Badger lead. Penn State climbed back within seven, 20-13, after a Billy Oliver three. The Lions remained down seven, 22-15, at the 6:01 timeout but got outscored 10-4 the rest of the half to go to the locker room down 13, 32-19.
A Jermaine Marshall drive and lay-up had Penn State down 24-17 when the Badgers ran of eight-straight. Marshall fouled Josh Gasser on a three and the Badger drained three at the line. Leuer, who had 11 in the half, hit a three and then drained a pair at the line to build the biggest Badgers lead of the half, 32-17. Penn State got a coast-to-coast drive and lay-up from Frazier to cut the margin, but then failed to score on the last possession of the half. The Lions shot just 38 percent in the half and got out-rebounded 13-8.
The Badgers used a 13-7 run to begin the second half to build a 17-point lead, 43-26, with 15:55 to play. They led comfortably the rest of the way until Battle's barrage of late threes cut the lead under double-digits.
Penn State will continue a two-game road swing on Thursday when the Nittany Lions travel to Evanston to take on Northwestern in a 9:00 p.m. tip on ESPN2. The Lions downed the Wildcats 65-41 just a week ago in the Jordan Center and have won five straight in the series and nine of the last 10. The Lions are 9-8 all-time in Evanston and have won in their last two trips there, including a 79-60 last year.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 814-865-5555, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Tickemaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level ticket 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 for each of the 19 home contests.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Assistant Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.