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Pritzl's hot hand leads Wisconsin past Penn State 61-57

MADISON, Wis. (AP) As Brevin Prtizl stepped to the foul line with less than 2 seconds left and the game all but won, the chant rained down from the student section: ''MVP! MVP!''

He promptly missed.

It was the only blemish on an otherwise stellar day. Pritzl came off the bench to score 17 points Saturday and lead No. 19 Wisconsin past Penn State 61-57.

The junior has long had a reputation as one of the team's best shooters, but sometimes hesitant to fire. Coming into this game, he was averaging less than 5 points for the Badgers (20-9, 12-6 Big Ten).

But he hit all five of his field goal attempts, including four 3-pointers, and was 3 of 4 from the line. He also scored 14 of his points in the second half as the Badgers climbed out of an early hole.

''He's one of the best shooters I've ever seen,'' Wisconsin's Ethan Happ said. ''I tell him all the time. `Stop passing the ball. Shoot the ball.'''

Pritzl was also involved in a no-call in the closing seconds that helped deny Penn State (12-17, 5-13) a chance to tie.

Held without a field goal for the final eight minutes, the Nittany Lions still had a chance with 14 seconds left, down 59-57.

After a timeout, Penn State's Rasir Bolton tried to throw the ball to Lamar Stevens at the elbow. But Wisconsin's Khalil Iverson tipped it away, and the referees ruled it went off Stevens' hand. After a review, the ball stayed with Wisconsin.

Nate Reuvers was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play, but converted just one at the free throw line, leaving the door open for the Nittany Lions again. But there was a collision between Bolton and Pritzl near the sideline with less than 2 seconds left. No foul was called, and the referees ruled the ball went off Bolton.

Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said the Badgers weren't trying to foul intentionally in that situation, up three, and Pritzl said Bolton initiated the contact.

But Penn State coach Pat Chambers argued after the game that Bolton should have been awarded three free throws, believing he made a shooting motion after the contact.

''It's unfortunate the players can't decide the game, but it is what it is,'' Chambers said. ''We've got to move on. We won't play the victim.''

It wasn't a particularly pretty game offensively for either team. The Nittany Lions shot 35 percent, below their average of nearly 42 percent.

Meanwhile, take away Pritzl, and Wisconsin made just 34 percent of its field goal attempts.

Happ scored 14 for the Badgers. Stevens led Penn State with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Josh Reaves added 14.

HALFTIME INSPIRATION

Pritzl's heroics might have been for naught if the Badgers hadn't taken Gard's halftime speech to heart. Down 33-26 at half, the Badgers were outrebounded 19-14 over the first 20 minutes. Gard said Wisconsin was simply not tough enough. Along with Pritzl's second-half performance, Happ flipped the switch from shooting 3 for 10 in the first half to 3 of 4 in the second. He also finished with five assists.

''We didn't win the 50-50 battle in the first half,'' Gard said. ''They got almost all of them, if not 90 percent of them. We were able to change that in the second half and the result showed. We played with more energy, more toughness, more physicality.''

BIG PICTURE

Penn State: The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Nittany Lions.

Wisconsin: Coming off a double overtime loss at Indiana on Tuesday, Wisconsin found a way to grind out a win.

UP NEXT

Penn State plays at Rutgers on Wednesday.

Wisconsin hosts Iowa on Thursday.

Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
L. Stevens
11 F
E. Happ
22 F
32.4 Min. Per Game 32.4
17.9 Pts. Per Game 17.9
4.6 Ast. Per Game 4.6
10.3 Reb. Per Game 10.3
42.7 Field Goal % 53.8
22.9 Three Point % 0.0
78.3 Free Throw % 45.0
  Offensive rebound by Jamari Wheeler 0.0
  Lamar Stevens missed jump shot 0.0
+ 1 Brevin Pritzl made 2nd of 2 free throws 1.0
  Brevin Pritzl missed 1st of 2 free throws 1.0
  Personal foul on Myles Dread 1.0
  Lost ball turnover on Rasir Bolton 2.0
+ 1 Nate Reuvers made 2nd of 2 free throws 8.0
  Nate Reuvers missed 1st of 2 free throws 8.0
  Personal foul on Josh Reaves 8.0
  Bad pass turnover on Rasir Bolton, stolen by Khalil Iverson 9.0
  Defensive rebound by Penn State 14.0
Team Stats
Points 57 61
Field Goals 19-54 (35.2%) 22-55 (40.0%)
3-Pointers 5-16 (31.3%) 5-13 (38.5%)
Free Throws 14-19 (73.7%) 12-18 (66.7%)
Total Rebounds 41 32
Offensive 9 5
Defensive 25 25
Team 7 2
Assists 6 12
Steals 2 6
Blocks 7 4
Turnovers 11 5
Fouls 17 16
Technicals 0 0
22 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST
17 PTS, 2 REB
12T
away team logo Penn State 12-17 332457
home team logo 19 Wisconsin 20-9 263561
Team Stats
away team logo Penn State 12-17 69.7 PPG 40.2 RPG 12.2 APG
home team logo 19 Wisconsin 20-9 68.6 PPG 38.1 RPG 12.6 APG
Key Players
11
L. Stevens F 19.9 PPG 7.7 RPG 2.1 APG 42.2 FG%
1
B. Pritzl G 4.8 PPG 2.4 RPG 0.5 APG 46.3 FG%
Top Scorers
L. Stevens F 22 PTS 10 REB 1 AST
B. Pritzl G 17 PTS 2 REB 0 AST
35.2 FG% 40.0
31.3 3PT FG% 38.5
73.7 FT% 66.7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Stevens 22 10 1 5/19 1/3 11/13 2 39 1 3 2 1 9
J. Reaves 14 9 0 5/9 3/6 1/2 2 36 1 2 0 2 7
J. Wheeler 4 5 4 2/4 0/0 0/0 4 35 0 0 2 2 3
M. Dread 3 4 0 1/4 1/4 0/0 3 32 0 0 0 0 4
J. Harrar 0 2 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 2 8 0 0 3 2 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Stevens 22 10 1 5/19 1/3 11/13 2 39 1 3 2 1 9
J. Reaves 14 9 0 5/9 3/6 1/2 2 36 1 2 0 2 7
J. Wheeler 4 5 4 2/4 0/0 0/0 4 35 0 0 2 2 3
M. Dread 3 4 0 1/4 1/4 0/0 3 32 0 0 0 0 4
J. Harrar 0 2 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 2 8 0 0 3 2 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Bolton 9 1 1 4/10 0/3 1/1 2 30 0 0 4 0 1
M. Watkins 3 3 0 1/5 0/0 1/3 2 16 0 2 0 2 1
M. Jones 2 0 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0
D. Zemgulis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Hazle - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Buttrick - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Nussbaum - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Brockington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Kasatkin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. McCloskey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 57 34 6 19/54 5/16 14/19 17 200 2 7 11 9 25
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Happ 14 6 5 6/14 0/0 2/2 4 27 4 1 1 2 4
K. Iverson 6 5 2 3/6 0/1 0/2 3 29 2 0 0 1 4
D. Trice 6 3 2 2/7 0/2 2/3 3 36 0 0 1 0 3
B. Davison 6 4 3 1/7 0/3 4/5 3 32 0 0 0 0 4
N. Reuvers 3 9 0 1/7 0/0 1/2 2 25 0 2 1 1 8
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Happ 14 6 5 6/14 0/0 2/2 4 27 4 1 1 2 4
K. Iverson 6 5 2 3/6 0/1 0/2 3 29 2 0 0 1 4
D. Trice 6 3 2 2/7 0/2 2/3 3 36 0 0 1 0 3
B. Davison 6 4 3 1/7 0/3 4/5 3 32 0 0 0 0 4
N. Reuvers 3 9 0 1/7 0/0 1/2 2 25 0 2 1 1 8
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
B. Pritzl 17 2 0 5/5 4/4 3/4 0 25 0 0 0 1 1
K. King 9 1 0 4/8 1/3 0/0 1 20 0 1 1 0 1
C. Thomas IV 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
A. Ford 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0
M. Potter - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Ballard - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Anderson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
O. Hamilton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. McGrory - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Currie - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Strickland - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Higginbottom - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hedstrom - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 61 30 12 22/55 5/13 12/18 16 200 6 4 5 5 25