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Penn State Basketball

Penn State Basketball Drops Heartbreaker to Wisconsin 79-74 in OT

Micah Shrewsberry, Penn State Basketball
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Micah Shrewsberry January 21, 2023 David Hague/NSN

UNIVERSITY PARK, P.A.— Penn State basketball had its woes against Wisconsin continued Tuesday night in the Bryce Jordan Center.

Penn State overcame a slow start to lead a second half comeback and force overtime, but Wisconsin pulled out a 79-74 win.

It’s Wisconsin’s (14-9, 6-7 Big Ten) fifth straight win over Penn State (14-10, 5-8 Big 10), and Penn State’s third straight loss overall.

Penn State started the game hitting three of its first four shots to take early 8-7 lead. The Nittany Lions were then held scoreless for over a five-minute stretch until a jumpshot from the foul line by Kanye Clary broke a string of seven consecutive missed field goals.

Wisconsin jumped to a 14-10 advantage following a Jordan Davis three-pointer. Wisconsin’s Connor Essegian and Tyler Wahl both found their groove from the floor right away, with each tallying 10 first half points to keep the visitors ahead.

On the other end, Jalen Pickett, who entered Wednesday’s contest leading Penn State with 17.3 points per game, missed his first four shots from the floor and finished the first half with just four points on 2-of-8 shooting. Cam Wynter helped Penn State keep the deficit close with eight points in first 20 minutes.

Wisconsin, whose advantage hovered around two baskets for the ensuing stretch after going in front, capitalized on three straight turnovers to gain its largest lead of the first half at 35-27. Pickett sent Penn State  into the break with a shred of momentum after tipping in a missed Clary layup by at the buzzer to move the deficit back to six.

Penn State, which is known for its 3-point shooting, went 2-for-9 mark in the first 20 minutes, with multiple attempts being in as the shot clock was about to expire.

Penn State came out of the break and cut the deficit to 35-33 thanks to two Andrew Funk free throws from and a Pickett bucket. But the Badgers answered with a string of three straight field goals to get Wisconsin’s lead back to six.

Although Penn State hurt itself with multiple offensive fouls that eliminated possessions, Wisconsin had its problems, putting Penn State in the bonus at the 11:59 mark of the second half.

Funk followed by hitting both free throws to cut Wisconsin’s lead to 47-45.

Wisconsin again answered, hitting four straight m shots to increase their lead to seven at 56-49, but Penn State followed with a 13-3 run, capped off by a Seth Lundy 3-pointer, to give Penn State its first lead since the game’s opening minutes at 62-59 with 4:14 left.

Wisconsin briefly regained the lead following a Chucky Hepburn 3, but a free throw and a bucket by Wynter tied the game at 65 coming out of a Wisconsin timeout with 1:21 left.

Hepburn then hit a contested 3 to give Wisconsin a 68-65 lead with 30 seconds left. Lundy followed with a 3 to tie the game seven seconds later.

Wisconsin’s missed its ensuing two shots before the buzzer, and the game went to overtime.

Wisconsin scored the first four points of overtime to put Penn State in an early hole, and the home team never recovered. Wisconsin outscored Penn State 11-6 in overtime to get the win.

Each team had four players in double figures.

Pickett led Penn State with 17 point. Hepburn led Wisconsin with 19.

Penn State basketball will head back on the road to take on Maryland at noon Saturday.

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