Road Woes Continue for Lions

Wisconsin races out to an early lead and never looks back as Penn State dips below .500 in Big Ten.

Penn State entered Sunday's game at No. 10 Wisconsin hoping to finally add a significant road victory to its NCAA Tournament resume.

Instead, the Nittany Lions, who had not won in Madison since 1995 and have one road win this entire season, came home with another loss. This time Ed DeChellis' squad fell into a deep early hole and never recovered in falling 76-66.

Penn State is now 14-12 overall and 7-8 in the Big Ten.

The Badgers, who lost to PSU in Happy Valley Jan. 29, improved to 20-6 and 10-4 while extending their home winning streak to 18 games. UW is now 11-0 all-time against the Lions in the Kohl Center.

See the box score here:

Wisconsin's undoing in the 56-52 defeat at the BJC was poor 3-point shooting, as it went a collective 6 of 20 from the arc -- just 3 of 13 in the second half.

There were no such problems Sunday. Penn State entered the game as the worst team in the Big Ten in terms of 3-point field goal defense and the Badgers exploited the weakness.

Or maybe that should say “a Badger,” because forward Keaton Nankivil did most of the damage, going 5 of 5 on triples. Three of them came in the first six minutes as UW built a 17-8 lead.

Jeff Brooks responded with a short jumper for the Lions before Badger Mike Bruesewitz beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer to push the lead to 20-10.

With leading scorer Talor Battle struggling from the floor (he had three first-half points) and Brooks in foul trouble, Penn State was fortunate to only trail 32-19 at the half.

Wisconsin blew it open early in the second half as the lead reached 16 (40-24) on another Nankivil 3-pointer and later 17 (43-26) when Jon Leuer drove around David Jackson for an uncontested dunk.

Battle (23 points) and Brooks (16) heated up late to prevent the score from getting out of hand. But the closest State could get was 72-63 on Battle's triple with 55 seconds left.

The best free-throw shooting team in the nation, Wisconsin was never in serious jeopardy of letting it slip away.

The inside-outside combo of Leuer and Nankivil each tallied 22 to pace the Badgers. Leuer also had 10 rebounds. Star guard Jordan Taylor had a workmanlike 13 points and seven assists while not committing a turnover.

Point guard Tim Frazier had another solid floor game for the Lions, with 12 points, a team-high six rebounds and four assists. Beyond Battle, Brook and Frazier, though, PSU had nothing.

Center Andrew Jones had a particularly rough go of it, with what can best be described as a quintuple single: one point, one rebound, one assist, one steal and one foul in 25 minutes of play.

Penn State hits the road again Thursday, taking on Northwestern in Evanston. The game tips at 9 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.

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