Preview: Penn State at No.15 Wisconsin

Looking to bounce back from its 14-point Thursday setback against No.7 Michigan State and properly honor the 2001-02 Big Ten Champion team, No.15 Wisconsin squares off with struggling Penn State at the Kohl Center Sunday.

Penn State (12-15, 4-10 Big Ten) vs. No.15 Wisconsin (19-7, 8-5 Big Ten)

Date/Time - Sunday, February 19, 3:00 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,230)

Television - Big Ten Network (Tom Hart and Gary Williams)

Radio - Wisconsin Sports Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series – Wisconsin leads 27-10 (UW leads 15-2 in Madison)

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 52-46, on January 31, 2012 in State College, PA

Wisconsin Probable Starters

5 Ryan Evans (6-6 Junior Forward, 10.5 ppg)

11 Jordan Taylor (6-1 Senior Guard, 14.5 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (6-3 Sophomore Guard, 7.3 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (6-6 Junior Forward, 6.4 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (6-10 Junior Forward, 10.4 ppg)

Off the Bench

1 Ben Brust (6-1 Sophomore Guard, 8.6 ppg)

12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Freshman Guard, 1.6 ppg)

33 Rob Wilson (6-4 Senior Guard, 2.3 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (6-11 Freshman Forward, 2.2 ppg)

Penn State Probable Starters

20 Nick Colella (6-3 Junior Guard, 3.1 ppg)

23 Tim Frazier (6-1 Junior Guard, 18.4 ppg)

24 Cammeron Woodyard (6-5 Senior Guard, 8.9 ppg)

25 Jon Graham (6-8 Freshman Forward, 3.5 ppg)

43 Ross Travis (6-6 Freshman Forward, 3.9 ppg)

Off the Bench

3 Trey Lewis (6-1 Freshman Guard, 5.4 ppg)

5 Matt Glover (6-4 Sophomore Guard, 3.0 ppg)

11 Jermaine Marshall (6-4 Sophomore Guard, 10.4 ppg)

21 Sasa Borovnjak (6-9 Sophomore Forward, 4.4 ppg)

35 Billy Oliver (6-8 Junior Forward, 6.8 ppg)

Last Time Out

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The aggressors from the opening tip, Michigan State used its stingy defense to poke holes in UW's transition defense to turn an expected wire-to-wire battle into a 69-55 drubbing in front of 14,797 at the Breslin Center that was basically over by halftime.

As a result, No.15 Wisconsin missed a golden opportunity to move a game back of first place Ohio State in the Big Ten with five games remaining. It also lost its opportunity to control its own face in the conference race by being swept in the regular season by No.7 Michigan State (21-5, 10-3) for the first time since 2001.

It's also the second time this season Wisconsin has got its doors blown off this season and, ironically, both have come in the state of Michigan.

Evans led Wisconsin with 17 points and Taylor – who averaged 24.3 points in his last four meetings against the Spartans – scored 13 points, his 16th consecutive double-digit scoring game, but shot only 3 of 13, including 1 of 7 in the first half and 1 of 6 from three-point range.

The Badgers did become only the third opponent to out rebound Michigan State, 33-30, this season and made all 14 of their free throws, but shot 7 of 22 (31.8 percent), including 1 of 9 3-pointers (11.1 percent), in the first half and went 18 of 53 (34.0 percent) overall and 5 of 24 from 3-point range (20.8 percent) overall.

Draymond Green led the Spartans with 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists (his 14th double-double of the season) and converted 17 of his 13 free throws. Keith Appling added 20 points as the Spartans won 16 in a row at home and shot 52.2 percent (24 of 46) overall.

Wisconsin shot poor early, but went on an 8-0 run to take a 12-8 lead 10:09 into the first half. The roof collapsed from there, as the Spartans went on a 14-0 run that gave them momentum, and a lead, they never relinquished.

The turnaround was the result of Green finding his footing. After being held scoreless for the first 10:30, Green scored all seven of his first-half points during the run as the Badgers went 1-for-6 with three turnovers during the stretch.

Despite missing six lay ups, Michigan State shot 52 percent in the first half, outscored Wisconsin 15-0 in fast break points and 7-0 in bench points. The Spartans had no transition points after halftime and the bench points were tied 7-7, but the damage was done.

Wisconsin traded punches in the second half and nearly doubled its first half point production, but never could get over the hump because the Spartans took advantage of sluggish post rotations to draw eight ‘plus one' opportunities, converting six of them into the maximum amount of points.

- By Benjamin Worgull –

Last Meeting

Taylor scored 18 points, including a 3-pointer from the top of key with 1:44 left, to help No. 19 Wisconsin hold off the Nittany Lions 52-46 for its sixth straight victory.

Taylor made six free throws over the final minute, helping the Badgers (18-5, 7-3 Big Ten) overcome an early nine-point deficit.

"They play hard, we play hard. It was just a matter of who was going to hit some shots in key situations," Ryan said. "Jordan stepped up and did that for us -- again."

The game between two coaches raised in the Philadelphia area went to Ryan, who was born in Chester. Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers was raised about 12 miles away, in Newtown Square. It was their first-ever meeting on the sideline.

For several moments, it looked like scrappy Penn State might pull out a win.

Trailing 40-38, Penn State (10-13, 2-8) missed on three tries to tie or take the lead. Jon Graham missed two foul shots before Jermaine Marshall misfired on a 3 and missed a layup after grabbing his own rebound.

Taylor took over from there with his clutch 3. He scored 13 of Wisconsin's last 17 points.

- By Associated Press

Series Notes:

UW has won 14 of the last 16 against PSU, including a 52-46 win at Penn State earlier this season (1/31).

The Badgers have won 14 consecutive home games against Penn State, owning a perfect 11-0 record at the Kohl Center against the Nittany Lions. PSU's last win in Madison was in 1995. UW's 14-consecutive home wins over Penn State ranks as the 4th-longest active home win streak over a single Big Ten opponent.

Bo Ryan, a native of Chester, Pa. is 16-4 vs. Penn State all-time.

PSU has averaged just 51.8 points per game over the last 16 meetings with UW, failing to reach 50 points in 8 of those contests.

In his last 5 games vs. Penn State, Jordan Taylor has averaged 16.6 points with 23 assists and just 3 turnovers (7.7 assist-to-turnover ratio). That includes a 20-point performance in a comeback overtime win on Jan. 24, 2010 at the Kohl Center. Taylor scored the final 8 points of regulation and 18 of UW's final 28 points overall.

Wisconsin Notes

At halftime of Sunday's game, the UW will honor the 10-year anniversary of Wisconsin's 2002 Big Ten Championship. In his first year at the helm, Bo Ryan guided the Badgers to an 11-5 record and the school's first conference title in 55 years.

With one more win, the Badgers will tally the 13th 20-win season in school history, and the 9th under Bo Ryan.

Michigan State shot 52.2% against UW on Feb. 16, the only team to shoot 50% or better vs. the Badgers. No team has made more than 42% from 3-point range against UW and no opponent has made more than 6 triples in a game.

In their 19 wins, the Badgers are shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range. In 7 losses, UW is shooting 34.6 percent from the field and 22.6 percent from 3-point land.

Penn State Notes:

Woodyard will celebrate his 22nd birthday in Madison on Sunday. The Lions' lone senior has posted back-to- back double-figure scoring games averaging 13.5 ppg and shooting 50% (8-16) from the floor and from three (6-12) over that span. He has four double-digit outings in his last six games, including two in road games at Iowa (11) and Ohio State (10), and 14 on the year.

Penn State began a regular season finish of four of its final six games at home with back-to-back wins over Nebraska (67- 51) and Iowa (69-64). It marked Penn State's first back-to-back wins since downing Mount St. Mary's and Cornell on Dec. 18 and 21.

Just the third Lion ever to eclipse 400 points and 150 assists in a season – joining Talor Battle (635 points & 189 assists in 2009) and Joe Crispin (649 points & 178 assists in 2000), Tim Frazier's 18 points in a victory over Iowa Thursday have him on the cusp of a Nittany Lion first. Frazier enters Sunday with 498 points, 171 assists (6th all-time) and 60 steals (9th all-time) on the year – just two points shy of becoming the first Lion ever to eclipse 500 points, 150 assists and 50 steals in the same year.

Marshall has scored in double-digits in a career-best tying SIX-straight games, posting 12.3 ppg over that span. He has 17 on the year, including three 20-point outings and is tied for the team lead with 21 threes in Big Ten play with 10 double-digit games in Big Ten play.

Walk-on Nick Colella has started the last 3 games and played more than 30 minutes in each. He posted his second double-digit scoring game (11) in Big Ten play at Iowa (2/4) and is averaging 21.2 mpg in Big Ten play, including a career-best 37 at MSU (2/8). He has been given a scholarship for the spring semester.


Over the last 11 seasons, 121 of the Badgers' 163 home wins have come by at least 10 points (74.2 percent). Let's make this short and sweet. If Wisconsin doesn't win this game by double-digits (I'll say by 15 points) and doesn't shoot the ball well, I think spring football should start immediately.

Worgull's Record: 22-4

Points off Prediction: 248 (9.54 per game)

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