Penn State vs. Wisconsin Game Preview
After extending their win streak to four games, the Penn State Men’s Basketball Team (8-4) is set to begin their Big Ten schedule against the Wisconsin Badgers (9-4) on Thursday at Wisconsin.
Coming off an 84-74 victory over Duquesne, Penn State kicks off their conference play in their first game of 2013. The team’s 8-4 record exceeds expectations for the Tim Frazier-less team immensely. Coach Pat Chambers has gotten the most out of this young squad with D.J. Newbill leading the way playing 35.6 minutes per game.
The win against Duquesne capped off a four-game home stand, where the Nittany Lions were victorious in all four. The team shot for 42.4 percent in the game making it their sixth straight game shooting more than 40 percent. They also shot for 40 percent from beyond the arc and 26-of-36 from the foul line.
The 84 points scored by Penn State was the second most all season and the fourth time in a row that they have exceeded 70 points. Sophomore D.J Newbill recorded a career high 23 points in the win. The Nittany Lions have gotten contributions from many players since losing superstar PG Tim Frazier for the season with a ruptured Achilles.
The Badgers are closing off a four-game home stand of their own, winning the first three affairs. The wins came against Green Bay-Milwaukee and Samford, respectively. Most recently, their 87-51 blowout of Samford was highlighted by five players scoring in double-figures and the team shot 54.5 percent from beyond the arc. Mike Bruesewitz returned to the lineup and scored a season high 13 points for the Badgers, which gave them a much-needed boost.
Wisconsin comes into the matchup with an 8-1 home record and a 0-2 road record. For the Nittany Lions, they are 7-1 at the Bryce Jordan Center and just 1-3 away from home. This could be the difference in the conference opener for both teams so Penn State will have to find a way to get over the hump of winning on the road.
Both teams have done well lately; going 4-1 in their last five games. Big Ten conference play is a stretch that is both major and important. Every game played within the conference has so much weight put on it, and only gets more exciting with the rivalries throughout the Big Ten. Last year, the Badgers took both games against the Nittany Lions by scores of 52-46 and 65-55. A win for the Penn State on Thursday would be a huge jumpstart for their conference play, after finishing with a 8-4 out of conference record.
The game will tip at 8:30 on Thursday night from inside the Kohl Center.
Tim Behan is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him e-mail email@example.com.