Penn St. falls short against Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. (AP) Penn State came close to ending a long stretch of frustration at Wisconsin.
But as has been the case for most of the season, Penn State will return home wondering what it could have done differently down the stretch.
Despite a game-high 20 points from Tim Frazier, the Nittany Lions missed their final five shots, allowing No. 15 Wisconsin to close the game on a 14-9 run to win 65-55 Sunday
Coming in riding their first two-game win streak since Dec. 18-21, the Nittany Lions (12-16, 4-11) dug themselves a 20-point hole.
But they were trying to break a 14-game winless streak in Madison when they used a 17-2 run in the second half to cut the lead to 51-46 with 5:48 remaining.
That's as close as it would get, as Jared Berggren hit a pair of 3-pointers - six of his 13 points - to help Wisconsin keep a grip on fourth place in the conference.
"Those two 3s (Berggren) hit were to me the difference because I thought we battled back and did some good things," Penn State coach Pat Chambers said, "but they were daggers."
With his layup at the 16:15 mark in the first half, Frazier became the first Lions player to eclipse 500 points, 150 assists and 50 steals in the same season.
"All that does is show what comes through with my coaches and teammates, the credibility and giving me the opportunity as far as assists go," Frazier said. "I give it all (credit) to my team. I don't take any individual credit for that at all."
It still wasn't enough for Penn State to avoid falling to 1-10 on the road overall and 0-8 on the road in conference. Penn State hasn't won a road game since winning at Boston College on Nov. 30.
"It's inexperience," Chambers said. "It's youth."
Josh Gasser led Wisconsin (20-7, 9-5 Big Ten) with 15 points, one of four players in double figures for the Badgers, who have won eight of their past 10 games.
Wisconsin earned the victory because it made 3-pointers.
After missing its first two attempts, Wisconsin hit seven of its next 12 in the first half, including one on five straight possessions, to build a 35-21 halftime lead.
The biggest catalyst in that half was Gasser, who hit a 3-pointer on three straight possessions that put the Badgers on a 15-2 run, building a 27-13 lead after 13 minutes.
Wisconsin finished 11 of 22 from 3-point range, its best rate in more than a month, while Penn State shot 35.7 percent for the first half, 39.3 percent for the game and made just 4 of 18 3-pointers
"The first half wasn't our half," Frazier said. "We couldn't make shots. We knew we had to keep playing and keep defending. We gave them too many points in the first half."
Wisconsin survived a 32-8 disadvantage in points in the paint and turning the ball over 12 times by outrebounding Penn State 38-27 thanks in large part to Mike Bruesewitz's career-high 12 rebounds.
"Mike was into the game," Ryan said. "Mike gave what he had. He's a spark plug that way."
Wisconsin reached the 20-win mark for the sixth straight season and ninth time in coach Bo Ryan's 11 seasons. Prior to Ryan's arrival in 2001-02, the Badgers had a total of four 20-win seasons.
Updated February 19, 2012