Notes: Nankivil Perfect From Deep

Keaton Nankivil knocked down all five three-pointers he attempted Sunday and finished the game with 8-of-9 total shots made as the Badgers beat Penn State 76-66.

Madison – With just more than two minutes gone in Sunday night's game, Keaton Nankivil took a pass from frontcourt mate Jon Leuer, took aim and let fly.

That three-pointer was good, as was the next one and the one after that. And the two after those three. In fact, he didn't miss a single shot from long range, finishing five of five. Overall he made eight of nine field goal attempts and one of two free throws to finish with a season-high 22 points.

"He's a rhythm shooter," Leuer said. "When he gets in a rhythm he's as good a shooter as anyone in the country."

The way Nankivil was shooting, Penn State seemed helpless. In fact, for a time it seemed like the only person who could stop Nankivil was himself.

He seemed to roll his ankle after coming down from a three-pointer that, like the other four he tried, he made. Nankivil went to the locker room with a little more than three minutes remaining in the first half. He showed no lingering effects from the tweak in the second half, scoring 11 points.

By and large, Nankivil was able to catch and shoot uncontested on the perimeter, something Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis knew was a recipe for disaster.

"He's a very good perimeter shooter, maybe their best perimeter shooter," DeChellis said.

"I don't have any excuses. We just didn't get out and get in to him like we talked about doing."

After getting a couple baskets under his belt, Nankivil showed no hesitation to keep shooting.

"When he gets the hot hand like that, and he got aggressive tonight, too," Leuer said. "Any time he touched it he was catching and facing, putting pressure on the defense."

Nankivil's aggressiveness allowed his teammates to have success. Leuer matched Nankivil's 22 points, Jordan Taylor added 13 and Josh Gasser scored 11.

"When you have [Nankivil and Leuer] scoring the way they are, that's very hard" to defend, DeChellis said. "Especially when you have number 11 [Taylor] doing what he does. That's a very good offense for them when they have those three guys scoring."

Defensive Battle

The stat sheet shows that Penn State senior Talor Battle led all scorers with 23 points Sunday night. But it also shows he had to work to get it.

Battle made just seven of 17 shots from the field for the game. Interestingly enough, all seven were three pointers. He also added two free throws.

Twenty of Battle's points came in the second half, including 14 in the final four minutes, 17 seconds.

While 23 is more than UW would like any opponent to score, Gasser was happy to have made Battle work.

"He's tough to stop," Gasser said. "He took quite a bit of shots to get his points, which is what we wanted him to do. At the same time, we gave him a little too much at the end there."

That's Taylor, with a T

Jordan Taylor is a fierce competitor, but he's a relatively mild-mannered individual. That's why it was surprising he picked up a technical foul late in the second half.

Leuer bowled over a Penn State defender and officials correctly called an offensive foul. The only problem was they called the foul on Taylor, not Leuer. Walking back down the floor, Taylor told an official the foul shouldn't have been on him. That earned the junior a technical foul, much to the disbelief and displeasure of head coach Bo Ryan, Taylor and the Kohl Center crowd.

The officials eventually did correct the foul call to be on Leuer, but the technical on Taylor stood.

"I don't know really what Jordan said, I think he said the foul wasn't on me," Leuer said. "Obviously the ref gave him a technical. Later, [the official] said that was the wrong thing to do, but you know, refs are going to miss calls here and there. The key is to keep our composure and move on."

Badger Nation Top Stories