Penn State runs out of gas in overtime against Wisconsin
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Men’s Basketball pushed Wisconsin to overtime but was unable to overcome the Badgers in a 79-74 loss.
The Nittany Lions returned home to the Bryce Jordan Center on a two-game losing skid and looked to bounce back with a matchup against Wisconsin, but the Badgers' hot shooting and effective game plan were too much for them to handle.
“This is obviously not the result we wanted and worked for,” head coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “We need to get back to putting our head down and grinding to correct our mistakes.”
Out of the gates, it was clear that Wisconsin was the team that wanted it more. The Badgers stormed out in front in the first half of play and shot the ball well from all over the court.
Penn State struggled to get much going and shot just 44% from the field and 22% from beyond the arc. The issues didn’t stop there though as their defense could not contain Wisconsin’s key scorers in Connor Essegian and Tyler Wahl.
The duo combined for 20 points in the first half.
The second half was much better for Penn State. They came out of the locker room with a newfound fire and lit up the arena with three-pointers from every area on the court.
With Connor Essegian and Steven Crowl in foul trouble, the Nittany Lions were able to claw their way back and found themselves in a tight ballgame.
Seth Lundy was knocking down triples left and right and Jalen Pickett got into a groove that erupted the blue and white faithful.
“We just had to keep battling,” Lundy said. “In the second half a couple guys got going and we got them the ball.”
Fortunately for the Badgers, guard Chucky Hepburn was there to save the day as he heated up quickly and erupted for 14 points in the second half including four three-pointers of his own.
Both teams traded baskets for what seemed like an endless loop, but Penn State could not capture the lead. Then, with five minutes to go in the game, Andrew Funk buried a triple to tie the game.
On the next possession, Lundy grabbed a rebound and cashed in a three of his own to take the first lead since early in the first half.
Wisconsin would make a comeback fueled by Hepburn and with 33 seconds left in regulation, he drained a deep three-pointer to give the Badgers the lead.
A quick timeout by Penn State would pay off as Lundy came out of the break and connected on a triple again to tie the game and send it to overtime.
In overtime, the Badgers would take control and despite a couple of buckets from Jalen Pickett and a smooth layup from Cam Wynter, Wisconsin was able to pull off the road win.
Wynter finished with 15 points in his best performance since the game against Iowa.
“I was just trying to be aggressive today,” Wynter said. “I felt like I had to assert myself and give them another scoring punch.”
Wisconsin allowed Wynter and three other Nittany Lions to score double digits, but the Badgers' offense made up for their defensive woes. They shot 53% from the field and 46% from three-point land in the game.
Penn State’s defense was subpar and did not resemble what fans are used to seeing from Shrewsberry lead teams.
“We are not playing Penn State basketball at all right now,” Lundy said.
The Nittany Lions will look to snap their three-game losing streak this Saturday as they travel to take on the Maryland Terrapins.
“I’m going to watch this tonight, figure out what we can do to correct the mistakes we had, and get to the preparation for the next game,” Shrewsberry said.
Thomas English is a second-year broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.