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Penn State Basketball Preview: Nittany Lions Look to Make it Two in a Row Over Wisconsin

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After defeating Wisconsin for the first time in a decade, can the Nittany Lions make it two in a row over the Badgers?

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday afternoon the Nittany Lions did something they had not done since March of 2011, they defeated the Wisconsin Badgers in basketball. After snapping their 13 game losing streak against the Badgers, the Nittany Lions will now look for their second win over Wisconsin in four days.

In Saturday’s game, the Nittany Lions overcame a 3 point halftime deficit to rally and defeat the Badgers by a score of 81-71. Myreon Jones led the way for the Nittany Lions with 20 points while going 3-3 from three-point range. Izaiah Brockington chipped in 18 points and 9 rebounds, while John Harrar scored 17 to go with 8 rebounds.

The Nittany Lions played a near flawless second half, scoring almost as many points in one half as the Badgers usually allow in a full game. The 50 points in the second half are by far the most the Lions have scored on Wisconsin in more than a decade.

Scouting the Opposition

Don’t expect Micah Potter and D’Mitrik Trice to be as quiet as they were on Saturday. The two top scorers for the Badgers had six points apiece, and went a combined 5-of-16 from the field, while missing on all of their eight three-point attempts.

Speaking of three-point attempts, don’t expect Wisconsin to also go 7-of-28 from three in this game, especially in their home court. The Badgers aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire from three this season, but 25% is a good 12 points lower than their average, and they’re likely to regress to the mean here.

Last, but not least, Wisconsin turned the ball over 12 times on Saturday, matching their season high against Maryland. Expect turnovers still, but 12 might be asking a ton.

What to Watch For

Wisconsin’s offense has hit a rough patch. The Badgers scored 71 points in Saturday’s loss, marking the only time in their last six games that they have hit the 70 point mark. During this six game stretch the Badgers are only averaging 62.7 points per game.

For the season, Wisconsin is averaging just 71.9 points per game. This puts the Badgers 196th nationally. Additionally, the Badgers are shooting just 43.7% from the field this season which ranks 194th nationally.

If the Nittany Lions, who are averaging 77.1 points per game this season, can get to 75 points they could be in good shape.

Prediction

Penn State rides the momentum of beating Wisconsin for the first time in a decade to pick up their second win in a row over the Badgers. Penn State 76, Wisconsin 68