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Penn State Basketball: Kohl Center Curse Lives on in Gut Wrenching 63-60 Loss

Death, taxes, Penn State losing at the Kohl Center

Penn State v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Tuesday night Micah Shrewsberry led the Penn State Nittany Lions into Madison looking to make history. Penn State entered the game 0-18 all-time at the Kohl Center. Unfortunately, even though for large stretches it appeared this streak would be snapped on Tuesday night, following a heartbreaking 63-60 loss the Kohl Center curse lives on for the Nittany Lions who are now 12-6 on the season.

Penn State got off to a strong start from deep and shot the three ball well in the first half. The Nittany Lions shot 55.6% form three-point range in the first half, which helped power Penn State to a 36-30 halftime lead.

Andrew Funk was 2/2 from three-point range in the first half, while Myles Dread was 2/4 and Cam Wynter was 1/2. Dread even hit the rare two-point shot in the first half, on his way to having 8 points at the break.

After jumping out to a halftime lead the Nittany Lions starting the second half slow. Wisconsin went on an 8-0 run to start the second half to give them the lead back. This was accompanied by the Nittany Lions getting into foul trouble that would go on to play a big role for the rest of the night.

Wynter, Kebba Njie, Evan Mahaffey, and Seth Lundy all got into foul trouble in the second half. Mahaffey and Lundy having four fouls led to them spending more time on the bench in the second half than Shrewsberry would have liked and also impacted the way they played the game. Penn State’s foul issues also led to Wisconsin finishing the final nine minutes of the game in the bonus.

Despite playing poorly for much of the second half, the Nittany Lions were in a position to have the game come down to the final possession.

Myles Dread sunk a big three-point shot to cut the Wisconsin lead to 61-60 with 2:38 left in the game. Defense then took over, including a huge defensive rebound and steal by Dread, in the final 2:38 of the game.

With :53 seconds remaining in the game Jalen Pickett, who was once again Penn State’s best player, was called for a very questionable charge. Funk missed a three-point shot with :09 seconds left in the game. After the Badgers sunk two free throws, Funk missed another three setting the final at 63-60 Badgers.

Player of the Game

Jalen Pickett - 19 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists

As per the norm, Jalen Pickett was Penn State’s best player on the court. Pickett was aggressive and making shots in the second half when much of the team seemed hesitant to shoot. Pickett did a tremendous job feeding the basketball, making great decisions, and was once again the straw that stirred the drink.

Random Observations

Evan Mahaffey continues to impress - When Mahaffey is on the court for the Nittany Lions you notice him and in a good way. He brings an energy and spark to Penn State on both ends of the court. Even with his foul issues, he impacted the game in a positive way. His role needs to continue to grow.

Kebba Njie growing pains continue - He is just a freshman, and has all the potential in the world, but Njie continues his growing pains. He missed an easy dunk in the first half and was called for a bad offensive foul that likely negated a Jalen Pickett basket. Njie finished the game without scoring, just two rebounds, two turnovers, and four fouls.

Brutal night for Seth Lundy - Anyone who watches Penn State basketball with regularity knows how important Seth Lundy is to this team. Coming off a carer-high scoring night against Indiana, Lundy had one of the poorest games of his career. He finished with just two points and battled foul issues throughout the night. Wisconsin took Lundy out of the game early and he never could rebound.

The Kohl Center Curse is real - Penn State is now 0-19 all-time at the Kohl Center. This Wisconsin team was there for the beating. The Badgers came limping into this game and had depth issues that were made even worse with Max Klesmit missing the second half.

Looking Ahead

The Nittany Lions return to action back home at the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday afternoon. Penn State will host Nebraska for a 2:15 PM ET tip, you can watch the game on BTN.