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Penn State falls at Wisconsin

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Talor Battle made seven 3-pointers but Penn State's front court couldn't handle Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivi, who combined for 44 points on 16-of-23 shooting, as Wisconsin beat the Nittany Lions 76-66.

Wisconsin 76 - Penn State 66
Kohl Center, Madison, WI
 
Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil scored 22 points apiece as Wisconsin extended its streak of home dominance and avenged a January loss to Penn State, defeating the Nittany Lions 76-66 Sunday night at Kohl Center. Talor Battle scored a game-high 23 points for PSU (14-12, 7-8), but the Badgers (20-6, 10-4) stayed out of foul trouble, bested the Nittany Lions on the boards and converted from the foul line while reaching the 20-win mark for the eighth time during head coach Bo Ryan's tenure.
 
With the victory over PSU, Wisconsin improved to 15-0 at the Kohl Center this season. Dating back to last year, the Badgers have won 18 straight in Madison. PSU beat Wisconsin 56-52 at Bryce Jordan Center on January 29, but the team hasn't won a road game against the Badgers since many of its current players were in preschool, back in 1995.
 
Battle sank seven 3-pointers for a second straight game -- he also had that many trifectas in Thursday's win over Minnesota. Jeff Brooks had 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting, and Tim Frazier added 12 points while getting six rebounds for the Nittany lions.
 
PSU shot 53.1 percent overall against the Big Ten's best defensive squad. But Wisconsin's disciplined D resulted in just five foul shots for the Nittany Lions, and PSU was outrebounded by a margin of 28 to 21.
 
Leuer notched a double-double for No. 10 Wisconsin, as the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy candidate snatched 10 rebounds. Nankivil was deadly from the perimeter, tying a career high by knocking down all five 3-pointers he attempted. Jordan Taylor scored 13 while showing why he's a strong contender for the Cousy Award. The nation's leader in assist-to-turnover ratio had seven helpers without coughing the ball up once. Josh Gasser also scored in the double digits and distributed the ball for the Badgers, contributing 11 points and five assists. Overall, Wisconsin shot 54.3 percent from the field.
 
Wisconsin showed customary accuracy from the foul stripe, too. The NCAA leaders in free throw percentage made 18 of 21 foul shots.
 
The loss ends a two-game win streak for PSU, drops the club to 1-8 away from Bryce Jordan Center and marks the eighth straight time that the Nittany Lions have lost on the road to a ranked opponent. PSU's last win over a top 25 squad outside of Happy Valley was February 18, 2009, at Illinois.
 
TEAM STATS
FG%
: PSU 53.1, WISC 54.3
FT%: PSU 60.0, WISC 85.7
3-PT: PSU 50.0, WISC 53.3
RBS: PSU 21, WISC 28

LEADERS
Scoring:
PSU- Battle 23; WISC Leuer, Nankivil 22
Rebounds: PSU- Frazier 6; WISC Leuer 10
Assists: PSU- Frazier 4; WISC Taylor 7
Blocks: PSU- None; WISC Evans, Nankivil 1
Steals: PSU- Battle, Frazier, Jones, Oliver 1; WISC Evans, Taylor 1

NEXT UP
With its NCAA tournament hopes in critical condition, PSU travels to Northwestern on Thursday for a 9 p.m. game at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Nittany Lions scorched the Wildcats 65-41 in a home game on February 13, limiting Northwestern to 34.6 percent shooting from the field. Wisconsin heads to Michigan Wednesday, taking on the Wolverines at 6:30 p.m. The Badgers handily beat Michigan 66-50 back on January 5, though the upstart Wolverines have won six of their past eight games.

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