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Penn State Basketball: Second Half Dooms Nittany Lions As Wisconsin Wins 82-55

by on January 24, 2017 11:30 PM

The Nittany Lions played a strong first half but a Wisconsin run to open the second was too much for Penn State en route to an 82-55 defeat in Madison on Tuesday night.

How It Happened:

Penn State played a strong game on both ends of the court to hang with Wisconsin in the first half due in large part to hot outside shooting from Shep Garner. The junior made his first three from beyond the arc and Payton Banks added two of his own as the Nittany Lions kept it close. Even so, Wisconsin managed to take a 10-point 18-8 lead with 13:30 to go in the half before Penn State relied on strong shooting and solid defense to cut that deficit to just four in the span of three minutes. From there the Badgers would lead by no more than six in the final 10 minutes of the frame and key baskets late kept it just a one possession, 36-33, game at the half.

The second half was a different story though as Wisconsin opened with a lopsided run keyed by Penn State turnovers and a balanced Badger offense to take a 47-35 lead in the opening two minutes of the half. From there it was all Wisconsin as Penn State couldn't find the consistency it had on either end of the court in the first half. With just six minutes remaining Wisconsin's lead ballooned to 24 points, and eventually the game's final 27-point margin.

It Was Over When:

Wisconsin opened the second half with a 19-8 run that pushed Penn State into a massive deficit despite trailing by just three at the break. The Nittany Lions couldn't slow down a Badger offense that had a little bit of everything going for it. From jumpers to contested threes, Wisconsin put on a show that displayed why they're one of the best in the nation and a favorite to win the conference. Banks and Tony Carr both made threes to try to keep things close but it wasn't enough. Penn State got it to a 14-point margin with 11:48 to go in the game but never got closer.

Stat Of The Game:

The Nittany Lions had 17 turnovers on the night and Wisconsin shot 17 more free throws from the line for a combination that was difficult to slow. Penn State managed to make nine from beyond the arc at a 50-percent clip but the vast majority of those shots were made in the first half. The Nittany Lions got 21 points off the bench but were out rebounded by 14.

Player Of The Game:

Carr had an effective night with 4-of-7 shooting for a team-high 12 points and four assists. Josh Reaves managed six points and six rebounds but turned the ball over six times. Garner started the game 3-of-3 from beyond the arc but finished the night with just 12 points. For Wisconsin, it was Bronson Koeing's 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting that paced the Badgers and a trio of players in double digits.

Up Next:

Penn State returns home to face Illinois for a 4:30 tip at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Illini are 12-8 on the year.

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