Wisconsin vs Penn State

Time: 04:00 P.M. EST
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Wisconsin has won three in a row following an overtime loss and posted a 32-point road rout in its latest game.

The Badgers should feel pretty good about their chances to extend their streak to four.

Much-improved Penn State has played well against some of the Big Ten's best, but the 17th-ranked Badgers will be looking for a 13th straight victory over the Nittany Lions on Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Wisconsin (15-4, 5-2) shot 38.2 percent in a 64-61 overtime defeat at Michigan State on Jan. 11, then knocked off Illinois - ranked 16th at the time - 76-66 on Jan. 15 despite again struggling from the field.

The Badgers haven't had much trouble connecting in their last two contests, however. Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer combined for 48 points and Wisconsin shot 49.0 percent in a 69-60 win over Indiana on Jan. 20. Josh Gasser's triple-double, the first in school history, highlighted a 55.4 percent effort in a 78-46 victory at Northwestern on Sunday.

"It certainly was something that I felt inside that our guys are capable of at times," coach Bo Ryan said of his team's best shooting performance in conference play since Dec. 31, 2008, when it made 58.7 percent in a win at Michigan.

"I thought our guys took good shots."

Wisconsin has had plenty of good looks during a winning streak against Penn State (11-8, 4-4) that's lasted for nearly seven years. The Badgers have shot 48.2 percent in the 12 victories, and they've won by an average of 19.7 points while limiting the Nittany Lions to 52.1 points per game.

Wisconsin is third in the nation in scoring defense at 56.0 points per game.

It looked like the Lions were on the way to snapping their slide against the Badgers on Jan. 24, 2010, as they built a 52-36 lead midway through the second half. Wisconsin rallied, however, with Taylor scoring 18 of his team's final 24 points in a 79-71 overtime win at home.

That dropped Penn State to 0-7 in the conference, but coach Ed DeChellis' team hasn't at all resembled the one that finished 2009-10 in the Big Ten basement.

After beating then-No. 18 Michigan State and then-No. 16 Illinois earlier this month and losing at then-No. 2 Ohio State and then-No. 14 Purdue by a combined four points, the Lions finally got a bit of a breather Wednesday. Talor Battle and Jeff Brooks combined for 45 points and Penn State shot above 50 percent for a third straight game, beating Iowa 65-51.

The Lions outscored the Hawkeyes 36-23 in the final 20 minutes after trailing for much of a shaky first half.

"That's definitely something we cannot do Saturday," said Battle, whose 20.3 points per game are second in the Big Ten - 1.2 ahead of Leuer. "One thing that was said in the locker room was that we came out flat, shame on us, but the difference between last year and this year is that we were able to dig ourselves out and win the game."

Battle had 28 points on 11-of-23 shooting at Wisconsin last season, but he averaged 9.6 points and shot 29.2 percent in his first five games against the Badgers.

The Lions don't need to remember Taylor's strong performance last season to know to guard him closely. At 20.9 points a contest, he's the Big Ten's second-leading scorer in conference play - 1.0 ahead of Battle.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Indiana15-327-824
Michigan St.13-529-612
Maryland12-627-914
Purdue12-626-915
Iowa12-622-1129
Wisconsin12-622-1343
Ohio St.11-721-1474
Michigan10-823-1357
Northwestern8-1020-12115
Penn St.7-1116-16119
Nebraska6-1216-18165
Illinois5-1315-19149
Minnesota2-168-23257
Rutgers1-177-25294

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Key Players
Jon<br>Leuer
Jon
Leuer
F, WI
32.9 Min. Per Game 37.3 Talor<br>Battle
Talor
Battle
G, PSU
19.2 Pts. Per Game 20.3
1.9 Ast. Per Game 3.3
6.9 Reb. Per Game 4.6
48.9 Field Goal % 42.5
47.1 Three Point % 33.6
83.1 Free Throw % 75.9
 
 
 
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