UNIVERSITY PARK — No. 20th-ranked Penn State basketball team matched Wisconsin point-for-point in the second half, but couldn’t overcome a slow start offensively. Penn State fell to Wisconsin, 58-49, Saturday afternoon in the Bryce Jordan Center as the Badgers’ snapped the Nittany Lions’ 13-game home win streak.
Senior forward Lamar Stevens and sophomore guard Izaiah Brockington had 19 and 15 points, respectively, for Penn State (12-4, 2-3 Big Ten) with both contributing double figures in the second half of play. Stevens posted his 15th career double-double with a career-best tying 13 rebounds.
Wisconsin (10-6, 3-2) went up by as many as 12 points in the second half, 39-27, before Stevens, Myreon Jones and Brockington responded points to fuel a 10-2 run.
The Nittany Lions reduced the Badgers’ lead to four, 41-37, midway through the second period, but Wisconsin ran off four-straight points to go up by eight. The Badgers didn’t let the Nittany Lions any closer than six points with the teams trading baskets for the next five minutes. Wisconsin made four of its final five attempts for the nine-point margin.
“Wisconsin played a great game, they do what they do,” said Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers. “They did a great job. I thought Lamar [Stevens] really competed at a high level tonight, but we need everybody. We need everybody. We’re hitting a little speed bump here, a little bump in the road for us, and we just have to go back to work. There is plenty of time here, a lot of games left. Our goals are all still intact. We just have to keep getting a little bit better.”
Penn State made one more basket in the second half compared to the first, 9-8, and improved to 39.1 percent shooting in the second period. Despite a couple of runs the nine-point halftime deficit stood for the final margin.
Wisconsin had an answer on the offensive side for every Nittany Lion score and held Penn State scoreless for the last two minutes. Izaiah Brockington scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half and eight points in the final 7:46.
The slow start offensively began from the tip with both teams posting 0-6 marks from the field through the first media time out at 15:47. Wisconsin, though, had Micah Potter’s 10-straight points over the next four minutes before Lamar Stevens put the Nittany Lions’ on the board with a left-side jumper and converted a foul shot.
The Badgers shot 45.5 percent in the second half and 40 percent overall. Wisconsin had a 20-11 advantage on the boards in the second half after Penn State had a 22-20 edge at the break.
Off the bench, Potter scored a game-high 24 points with 18 coming in the first half, and tied Stevens for a share of the game-high rebounding lead.
Penn State goes back on the road for a 9 p.m. ET tipoff at Minnesota on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The game will air on the Big Ten Network.
Wisconsin 58, Penn State 49
Saturday at Penn State
Brad Davison 3-12 4-5 11; Kobe King 5-11 0-3 10; Nate Reuvers 1-3 2-3 4; Aleem Ford 1-3 0-0 2; D’Mitrik Trice 0-2 0-0 0; Micah Potter 9-14 2-2 24; Brevin Pritzi 1-5 0-0 3; Trevor Anderson 1-2 0-0 2; Tyler Wahl 1-3 0-1 2.
22-55 8-14 58.
Penn State (12-4)
Lamar Stevens 7-17 4-4 19; Jamari Wheeler 3-4 0-0 8; Myreon Jones 3-7 0-0 7; Myles Dread 0-5 0-0 0; Mike Watkins 0-3 0-1 0; Izaiah Brockington 4-8 6-9 15; John Harrar 0-0 0-0 0; Curtis Jones 0-8 0-0 0; Seth Lundy 0-0 0-0 0.
17-52 10-14 49.
Halftime: Wisconsin, 31-22. 3-point goals: Wisconsin 6-21 (Potter 4-6, Pritzi 1-4, Davison 1-6, Reuvers 0-1, Ford 0-1, Trice 0-1, Anderson 0-1, Wahl 0-1); Penn State 5-21 (Wheeler 2-3, Brockington 1-1, Stevens 1-3, M. Jones 1-5, C. Jones 0-6). Rebounds: Wisconsin 40 (Davison 13); Penn State 33 (Stevens 13). Assists: Wisconsin 10 (King 4); Penn State 8 (Stevens and C. Jones 2). Technical fouls: None. A: 10,139.