It was a win that was definitely needed for the Wisconsin Badgers after a terrible loss to open Big Ten Conference play.
After a dismal showing vs. Ohio State on Saturday, Wisconsin traveled to Penn State on Monday night, and after squandering a 17-point lead in the second half, held on for a 64–63 win in Happy Valley.
Forward Khalil Iverson scored a team-high 16 points along with five rebounds, while true freshman forward Nate Reuvers showed why his redshirt was burned, scoring in double figures once again with 11 points with four rebounds.
Redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ fouled out but recorded nine points and 10 rebounds before exiting the game.
Wisconsin (4–5, 1–1 Big Ten) shot 44.2 percent from the field (23 of 52), including hitting five of 11 shots from three-point range. The Badgers held Penn State (7–3, 1–1) to 35.7 percent shooting (20 of 56) for the game.
Forward Mike Watkins scored a game-high 22 points along with eight rebounds for the Nittany Lions. Guard Tony Carr scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and pulled down nine boards himself, but was only 5-of-22 shooting for the game.
Shep Garner also scored 13 points for Penn State in the loss.
Wisconsin took a six-point lead into halftime at 31–25. Iverson tied for a game high in points with Watkins with 12 on 6-of-6 shooting and also grabbed two rebounds. Happ was nearing double-double territory with seven points and eight boards.
The team as a whole shot 11-of-24 (45.8 percent) from the field and out-rebounded Penn State 19–13 in the first half. The Nittany Lions, lead by Watkins, only shot 37.5 (nine of 24).
Carr only scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
Wisconsin led by as much as 17 in one point with 9:40 left in the second half before Penn State mounted a comeback and substantially cut the lead.
Multiple times Penn State cut the lead down to one, including at 60–59 with 43 seconds left, but UW never trailed late. Sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice, who scored nine points on the evening, converted on four free-throw attempts to keep the advantage intact.
Aleem Ford, who missed the first of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity, atoned on Penn State’s final possession. Carr scored seven of his points in the final 2:27 of the game but missed a three-point shot with two seconds left.
Ford hustled for the official rebound with less than a second left to seal the win. He scored five points and four rebounds in 21 minutes.
True freshman guard Kobe King also registered eight points on three of four shooting along with three rebounds in 24 minutes.
Wisconsin plays again in the mid-Atlantic region this week, as Greg Gard’s team faces Temple on Wednesday (6 p.m. CT, ESPNU).