Grades: Offense Unstoppable At Home

Wisconsin shot over 50 percent from three-point range and in overall field goal percentage, with four different UW players finishing the game in double-digit scoring.

MADISON — For the 20th straight time after a loss, Wisconsin responded with a win. This time Penn State had the misfortune of catching the Badgers after a defeat, as PSU fell 76-66 Sunday night.

The Badgers have not had a bad losing streak since dropping six straight games during the mistake-filled 2008-09 season.

With UW shooting 54 percent for the game and 53 percent from three-point range, Penn State never had a chance at the Kohl Center where Wisconsin has won 36 of their last 37.

It was the 14th straight time the Nittany Lions have lost in Madison.

Offense: A+

UW was unrelenting Sunday night.

Wisconsin finished the game averaging 1.45 points per possession — an awesome number for those of you unfamiliar with the stat — and it was never really due to one big run. They just made shot after shot over the hopeless Penn State defense.

Keaton Nankivil was the primary force, knocking down all five threes he attempted while hitting 8-of-9 overall for 22 points. Penn State defenders continued to close out late on the big man after Josh Gasser and Jordan Taylor penetrated the lane. Nanks made them pay with his perimeter barrage.

Taylor and Gasser combined for 12 assists and one turnover as well, making the game their most efficient distributing as a backcourt duo.

At this point, opposing coaches must just accept the fact that Jon Leuer is going to get his. He finished with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting, and hit all five free throws he attempted to improve his free throw percentage to 92 percent in Big Ten play. He cannot be defended one-on-one, but the three-point shooting ability of his teammates prevents effective double teams.

The Badgers finished right about at their season average with seven turnovers. It has come to the point where is anyone not named Taylor or Leuer turns the ball over, they are pulled for at least the next four-minute stretch. The tactic works most games, as UW is careful with the ball as any team in the nation.

Defense: B-

We're to the point in the season where an honest assessment of this Wisconsin team tells you it just isn't as good defensively as previous UW teams under Bo Ryan.

Sunday night's game was no different.

Yes, Talor Battle had to work hard for his 23 points. But the Badgers just didn't have a sharp defensive edge to themselves all game.

Three Penn State players finished in double figures, and the Nittany Lions finished with a gaudy 1.22 points per possession for the game. When the Badgers shoot the way they did, that's something that can be overcome. Unfortunately, you're not going to always shoot 54 percent for the game.

If you're looking for positives, the Badgers did very well on the defensive glass, allowing Penn State to rebound only six of their 23 misses.

Overall: B+

The Badgers will not lose when they shoot the ball like that. Still, it would be nice to see the trade mark defensive lock down come some time this season.

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