The last month has been a struggle for Wisconsin, but one of the team’s bright spots during that stretch was a win over Penn State.
The Badgers hope to sweep their season series with the Nittany Lions on Wednesday when the Big Ten foes meet in University Park, Pa.
In the first meeting between the teams, Wisconsin shot an efficient 7 of 17 from 3-point range and only committed six turnovers in a 63-60 victory. Steven Crowl registered 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Jalen Pickett paced Penn State with 19 points, 12 boards and six assists.
That win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Badgers, although they since have dropped four of their last five. The recent tough stretch has seen their record drop from 11-2 (3-0 Big Ten) to their current mark of 13-9, including 5-7 in league play.
Most recently, Wisconsin fell at home to Northwestern 54-52 on Sunday. The Badgers shot only 38 percent from the floor and made just 5 of 11 foul shots in the tight defeat.
“We’ve got to take care of the ball a little bit better and obviously make free throws,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “In a lower-possession game like this, we’ve got to be much more efficient. The foul line was part of it.”
Chucky Hepburn scored 17 points and Connor Essegian added 15 for the Badgers, who are aiming for their 18th win in the last 19 meetings with the Nittany Lions.
Penn State (14-9, 5-7) also has been struggling as of late, having dropped six of its last nine outings. Only one of those defeats has come by a margin of three points or less.
In a 72-63 setback against Nebraska on Sunday, the Nittany Lions came up short despite solid efforts from Seth Lundy (24 points, seven rebounds) and Pickett (15 points, seven boards, seven assists).
“At some point, it’s got to kick in that, like, this is it,” Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “… I’m going to be here next year. Some of you guys don’t get that opportunity. Seasons are over, careers are over. I’m going to be here. I’ve got a lot more years to accomplish what we want to accomplish.”
–Field Level Media