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Penn State Basketball: Badgers Outlast Nittany Lions 71-66

by on March 02, 2014 3:40 PM

Penn State almost made it two Top 25 upsets in a week but the No. 14 ranked Wisconsin Badgers ended any thought of a streak with a 71-66 victory on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams traded baskets in the early stages of Sunday afternoon's contest. Wisconsin took an 8-7 lead with just over 13 minutes remaining in the half. Penn State would see the Badger lead grow to as many as nine as Wisconsin countered Penn State runs with runs of its own. The Nittany Lions got in the last run of the half though, cutting a nine point deficit down to only four points at halftime. With Tim Frazier already in foul trouble, the Nittany Lions were led by DJ Newbill for most of the first half.

The Badgers opened the second half with a short run pushing their lead to 10 points in the opening five minutes of the second half. Wisconsin would go on to hit eight shots from beyond the arc. The Nittany Lions made only one shot from deep but outscored the Badgers by nearly 30 points in the paint.

Penn State narrowed Wisconsin's lead to only two points with 9:11 to go in the game but could never take the lead. Newbill's game high 23 points kept the Nittany Lions close but the Badgers responded with timely shots anytime Penn State threatened. The Badgers were led by Josh Gasser and Ben Brust who went 7-of-13 from behind the arc.

Wisconsin secured a safe lead for good when back-to-back turnovers by DJ Newbill turned a three point margin into a seven point Badger lead with 1:23 to play. Penn State got to within two points with 18 second to play but free throws sealed the deal for the Badgers.

Penn State got solid contributions from Ross Travis and Tim Frazier who both scored 10 points and John Johnson who scored eight points -- all at critical junctures in the game. The Nittany Lions won the battle on the glass by a six rebound margin but 17 Wisconsin points off of Penn State turnovers made it tough sledding for the Nittany Lions.

The loss closes out Penn State's home season. The Nittany Lions will travel to Northwestern and Minnesota to end the regular season.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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