Penn State Stuns the Wisconsin Badgers 36-33: Rapid Reaction

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In what can only be described as one of the worst offensive performances in Big Ten Tournament history, the Penn State Nittany Lions edged out the #13 Wisconsin Badgers by the low-low score of 36-33.

The 69 combined points were the lowest in the 14-year history of the tournament.

Leaders Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor partnered for 26 of the team’s 33 points and took a combined 37 shots.

By: Nick Grays


What It Means:
The Badgers did absolutely nothing for themselves, but did help out the conference by bolstering Penn State’s lacking resume. Before Friday’s train-wreck, Wisconsin had a legitimate shot at sliding into a #2 seed and possibly playing in Chicago, but all of that can be forgotten. Wisconsin will most likely be shipped out West and are probably looking at a #4 seed at best. According to the committee, it’s about your entire body of work, so Wisconsin could benefit from having a fantastic season before the back-to-back losses.

Player of the Game: Penn State Senior Guard Talor Battle 

This defensive struggle had no offensive stars, but Talor Battle did put his name in the history books. Despite shooting a horrible 3-of-18, his nine points were enough to pass Jesse Arnelle for Penn State’s all-time scoring record dating back to 1955.

Talor also passed Jarrett Stephens for fifth on PSU’s Big Ten Tournament career scoring leaders list with 67 total points.

Stat of the Game: Penn State opened the game with leads of 14-0 and 18-2, but failed to make a field goal in the last 9:58 of the first half, resulting in a 20-16 lead at halftime.

Quotables: Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan opened up the press conference with a clever analogy.

“The story of the guy, the coach who asked one of his players how his grades went, and the kid said, three Fs and a D, do you know the answer the coach came back with? He says, “I’ve got the answer for you. You spent way too much time on one class,” said Ryan.

Here’s what he meant by it.

“Defensively we couldn’t have done things any worse than we did in our last game. So before you ask did we spend all our time on defense, no, but it might have looked like that,” explained Ryan.

Senior Keaton Nankivil appeared distraught in the locker room and was having a tough time figuring out what has gone wrong in the last couple of games.

“I think we have to re-dedicate ourselves, especially for us seniors who are now in a one-and-done situation,” said Nankivil.

Here’s how he responded to being asked if fatigue played a role in Friday’s outcome.

“We played just as many games as anyone else in the country, there’s no reason for this team to be tired. We worked hard all preseason. We need to take it upon ourselves and toughen up to get these wins,” answered Nankivil.

What’s Next: It’s a waiting game now as the Badgers wait for the selection committee to determine their next game on the schedule. We will find out on Sunday whether the Badgers play a Thursday or Friday game and when and who the next opponent will be.

Are the Badgers in trouble after back-to-back losses? Can they work through the adversity and make a run in the NCAA Tournament? Let me know by commenting below!

Nick Grays is a senior editor at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Brewers. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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