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Game 30: Wisconsin Recap

Well, it is March, I guess.


"What I would tell you is we lost, and I say this in the nicest way, horseshoes is great when you get close, but in basketball it's a loss. It happens too much around here to the men's basketball program and everybody gets excited when we just get close. I'm tired of getting close. I want to win."

Pat Chambers is sick of moral victories. His team out-Wisconsined Wisconsin--they turned the ball over just six times and outrebounded the Badgers 31-28, but Traevon Jackson's buzzer-beating 25-footer denied the BJC the overtime period the game deserved. The Nittany Lions' 16th conference loss is perhaps their most devastating yet, if any loss in this throwaway season can be considered devastating.

Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill continued to play at a high level, combining for 45 of the team's 60 points. Marshall's emphatic and-1 dunk spurred a run to give the Lions a lead which they carried into halftime and set the tone for the rest of the game. The lead changed 15 times in the second half alone, with Penn State's backcourt duo continually answering whatever questions Wisconsin posed.

Sasa Borovnjak couldn't get much going against Jared Berggren on the day after getting into early foul trouble trying to guard Wisconsin's leading scorer. Sasa notched just four points and two rebounds in his BJC finale, a shame considering how well he had been playing up until this game. Jon Graham performed admirable cover on defense in his 13 minutes (3 pts, 3 reb), but once again he struggled on offense (save an instinctive tip-in off) when he tried to get position on the low block. Ross Travis did the things you'd want Ross Travis to do, grabbing 11 boards and defending his ass off while not forcing the jumpshots he's become notorious for (6 pts on 2-3 shooting).

It's hard to knock anything Penn State did in this game, because they did just about everything you could ask them to do against a disciplined Bo Ryan team. Credit where credit is due to Wisconsin, because a lot of teams would've had trouble against the Lions on Sunday. The only shame is that a '3' won't show up in the conference win column. Chambers probably said it best in the post-game presser:

"We earned the right to win this one. That's why it hurts."

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