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Penn State falls to Wisconsin 71-66

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DJ Newbill scored 23 points but Wisconsin made 13-of-14 free throws in the last 8 minutes and the Badgers won for the seventh straight time, beating Penn State 71-66 at the Jordan Center on Sunday.

Penn State clawed and clawed, but when the clock struck zero, the Nittany Lions were unable to catch the No. 14 Badgers at the Bryce Jordan Center Sunday afternoon.

After Penn State led 9-8 lead with 13:25 remaining in the first half, but Wisconsin took the lead via a mid-range jump shot by reserve forward Duje Dukan 26 seconds later. The Badgers did not trail again for the remainder of the game.

Despite failing to ever recapture the lead, Penn State did not go down easy against their Big Ten rival. After a 3-point field goal by Badgers’ guard John Gasser with 16 minutes remaining in the second half extended Wisconsin’s lead to 43-33, Penn State went on a 16-8 run over the next seven minutes to cut the deficit to 53-51.

But every time the Nittany Lions roared back into the game, the Badgers always seemed to have an answer. Penn State cut Wisconsin’s lead to one basket four times in the final ten minutes but couldn’t once overcome the hump and take the lead.

The Badgers were led offensively by their trio of guards, as Ben Brust had 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists, Traevon Jackson had 13 points and 5 assists, and Gasser pitched in with 15 points of his own.

The Nittany Lions were paced by D.J. Newbill, who tallied his 23 points on 10-23 shooting. Ross Travis and Tim Frazier each put up 10 points, while Brandon Taylor just missed out on a double-double with 9 points and 10 rebounds.

The loss drops Penn State back under .500 on the season at 14-15, while their Big 10 record falls to 5-11. The Nittany Lions have finished better than .500 in the Big 10 since 2009, when they won the NIT.

Penn State will have a chance to dig out of the cellar when the play at Northwestern on Thursday. The Wildcats are currently tied with Penn State at the bottom of the conference. Thursday’s contest tips off at 7 PM.

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