After a sluggish start (sound familiar?) the Badgers rode a 19-4 run in the last 10 minutes of the first half to a 29-18 lead at the break.
Despite finding multiple paths into the paint -- often on Ben Brust head fakes -- the Badgers failed to convert early attempts and spent much of the half shooting under 30 percent. Wisconsin finally converted inside attempts as the half wore on, however, with Jared Berggren pouring in 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting (3-of-4 from the line) and Ryan Evans notching eight on 4-of-8 shooting.
As active as Brust was on offense, his struggles defined the first 10 minutes of the game, as he hit just 2-of-9 shots in the half including just one of five three-point attempts. The Badgers as a whole made just one of 11 three-pointers; Penn State missed both of their attempts.
Guard Jermaine Marshall has been the only effective starter for Penn State, scoring eight points on 4-of-5 shots. Fellow guard D.J. Newbill has made just two of his seven shots for four points, but his big slam dunk in the final two minutes was the highlight of the half for the Nittany Lions.
The absence of star guard Tim Frazier has been clear for Penn State from the opening whistle. The Nittany Lions have attempted just eight layups/dunks and made just four and the team failed to reach the free throw line even once. A failure to penetrate the painted area defined the half offensively for Penn State, and if they can't find more layup opportunities in the second half, they'll find it impossible to come back -- particularly if their shyness at the three-point line continues.