Game Day Grades: Penn State

Putting three players in double figures and turning away multiple Penn State charges in the second half, No.14 Wisconsin clinches another top four finish in the Big Ten with a 71-66 victory in State College Sunday. BadgerNation hands out the grades.

Offense: B-

It wasn't pretty at times for the Wisconsin offense but the Badgers were able to get it done thanks to their guard play. Josh Gasser led the way with 15 points - his fourth straight game reaching double figures. Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson had 14 and 13 points, respectively. Wisconsin finished the game 22-for-50 (44 percent) from the field.

Penn State's 2-3 zone bothered Wisconsin, which limited Frank Kaminsky and his production. Kaminsky's nine points on 3-for-10 shooting ended his five game streak of scoring in double figures. Wisconsin tried to shoot the Nittany Lions out of the zone and was up-and-down from 3-point range, finishing 8-for-24 (33 percent). With Kaminsky struggling to get anything going down low, he tried his hand from three but like his teammates couldn't connect - going 0-for-2 in the game.

Wisconsin made just one field goal over the last 8:20 but maintained the lead by finding ways to get to the free throw line. Wisconsin finished the game 19-for-24 (79.2 percent) from the free throw line, including 14-for-15 in the second half.

Although Wisconsin couldn't match its three turnover performance against Indiana, the Badgers took care of the basketball with only eight turnovers. Jackson had a team-high three turnovers. Entering the game, Jackson has committed four turnovers in his last four games combined.

Defense: B

Wisconsin was going to have to slow down D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier if they were to have success. Although Wisconsin had trouble keeping contain of Newbill, who found success driving to the hoop and finishing the game with 23 points, Jackson was able to slow down Frazier (10 points). Ross Travis was the only other Penn State player to reach double figures with 10 points.

Newbill was able to consistently find lanes to drive or create enough space to get his shot off, but struggled when Gasser was able to get a hand in his face. Newbill finished the game 10-for-23 from the field.

Newbill wasn't the only Penn State player to find lanes to the basket, as the Nittany Lions finished with 50 points in the paint. Penn State consistently getting quality shots resulted in the Nittany Lions shooting 28-for-58 (48.3 percent) from the field. When Wisconsin was able to force Penn State to settle for perimeter shots, the Nittany Lions shot an ugly 1-for-13 (7.7 percent) from three. Unfortunately Wisconsin couldn't figure out a way to consistently force the Nittany Lions into taking shots that they were struggling to make.

Wisconsin was able to force Penn State into 11 turnovers, seven of which came off of steals. All five of Wisconsin starters recorded a steal but Jackson had a team high two, as the Badgers turned those turnovers into 17 points.

Overall: B+

Even though it wasn't pretty at times Wisconsin picked up another nice victory on the road. It is concerning that Penn State was able to consistently get into the lane and have success in the paint, but Wisconsin was able to find ways to come up with enough stops toward the end to come out with a win.

Even though Sam Dekker struggled from the field (going 2-for-6 for seven points) he was able to put together a nice game defensively where he was able to pull down eight rebounds, block two shots and record a steal. Even when his shot isn't falling, Dekker can do the other things to impact Wisconsin.

Wisconsin was able to get 13 points off the bench with Nigel Hayes leading the way with nine and Duje Dukan had the other four. Hayes, who had struggled offensively the last few games, had a nice bounce back by putting together a complete game. Hayes was able to display his court vision by making some impressive passes, where he was able to dish out a career-high four assists.

Penn State was able to outrebound Wisconsin 34-to-28 and come up with 11 offensive rebounds, which they converted into 13 second-chance points. The Nittany Lions were also able to win any loose ball situations throughout the game, which kept possessions alive for them. Wisconsin had chances to close out the game but not winning those extra possessions hurt its chances.

Game MVP: Ben Brust. Brust has slowly started to heat up from the field - reaching double digits for the second straight game. Brust finished the game 4-for-7 from three and when Brust is able to knock down his shot, the Badgers become a tough team to beat.

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