Men’s Basketball: Wisconsin upset in first leg of back-to-back against Penn State

No. 19 Badgers dropped to fifth in the Big Ten following Saturday's loss

· Feb 1, 2021 Tweet

Justin Mielke/The Badger Herald

The Big Ten again proved itself as one of the nation’s deepest conferences in the country after a major upset Saturday afternoon. The No. 19 University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (13-5, 7-4 Big Ten) fell short on the road against Penn State (6-7, 3-6). The Nittany Lions earned just their sixth win on the season after the 81–71 upset win over the Badgers.

Saturday’s game was a battle right from the start. Wisconsin led by as many as seven points in the first half and held a three-point advantage at the break. Penn State answered by playing with great energy throughout the second half, which allowed them to gain the lead and control the pace.

Penn State built an 11-point lead at one point in the second half and never looked back as they cruised to a 10-point victory.

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The real difference in the game was settled at the free throw line. Wisconsin fouled 21 times in the game while Penn State finished with just 10 fouls. Penn State took full advantage of the favorable foul count by shooting 19-for-25 at the line. Wisconsin only converted six of their eight attempts.

The win for Penn State moves them up to 10th place in the Big Ten with three conference wins. As for the Badgers, they fall to fifth place in the conference after entering Saturday in a tie for second place with Illinois.

D’Mitrik Trice was unusually quiet. Trice finished with just six points Saturday, ending his streak of scoring 10 or more points in nine consecutive games. The veteran, who is also generally good on the boards for a guard, finished with zero rebounds.

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Wisconsin matched their season high in turnovers with 12 in the game. The Badgers also had 12 turnovers in their previous game against Maryland on Wednesday night.

Uncharacteristic turnovers are a concerning sign for an offense that has been experiencing scoring droughts as well.

One sign of optimism for the Badgers is the play of Nathan Reuvers. After struggling mightily throughout the season and especially during Big Ten play, Reuvers had an explosive and efficient game which helped keep it close for the Badgers. The big man led the Badgers in scoring with 18 points while also gathering five rebounds.

Sophomore Tyler Wahl finished the game with a double-double while shooting 60% from the field on 10 attempts. Wahl scored 13 points and collected 10 rebounds.

The two teams will both be heading back to Madison to complete the second leg of their matchup. The unusual back-to-back matchup will conclude Tuesday night from the Kohl Center. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. on Fox Sports One.

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This article was published Feb 1, 2021 at 11:42 am and last updated Feb 1, 2021 at 5:27 pm

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