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What to expect from Penn State vs. Wisconsin

This isn’t the team the Badgers faced in early January.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 19 Wisconsin Badgers hope to rebound from a double overtime road loss earlier this week as they face the resurgent Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday afternoon inside the Kohl Center.

After suffering an eight-game losing streak in January—including a 71-52 home loss to Wisconsin on Jan. 6—Penn State (12-16, 5-12 Big Ten) has won three straight contests and five of its last seven games heading into this weekend’s matchup.

On Wednesday, the Nittany Lions actually helped the Badgers in the Big Ten race in defeating No. 17 Maryland 78-61 at home. During this promising stretch, Pat Chambers’ squad also defeated now-No. 9 Michigan on Feb. 12.

Wisconsin (19-9, 11-6) leads the all-time series 37-10 and has won the last 11 meetings against Penn State. The Badgers hold a 19-2 record over the Nittany Lions in Madison.

Penn State team stats

  • Points per game: 70.1
  • Opponents’ points per game: 69.2 (12th in conference)
  • Field goal percentage: 41.9 (12th in conference)
  • Opponent field goal percentage: 44.8 (13th in conference)
  • Three-point percentage: 32.0
  • Opponent three-point percentage: 36.0 (13th in conference)
  • Free throw percentage: 69.7
  • Steals per game: 7.8 (first in conference)
  • NCAA NET ranking: 50

Key stats

  • Team rank: 44
  • Adjusted offensive efficiency: 109.7 (61st in the nation)
  • Adjusted defensive efficiency: 94.8 (31st in the nation)
  • Effective field goal percentage (offense): 47.9 (293rd in nation)
  • Turnover percentage (defense): 20.2 (86th in nation)
  • Offensive rebound percentage (offense): 31.7 (76th in nation)
  • Offensive rebound percentage (defense): 26.1 (77th in nation)
  • Steal percentage (offense): 9.7 (272nd in nation)
  • Steal percentage (defense): 11.3 (25th in nation)

Potential Nittany Lions playmakers

  • Junior forward Lamar Stevens: 19.9 points per game (second in Big Ten), 7.9 rebounds per game (seventh in Big Ten); 77.8 percent free throw shooter; 36.4 minutes per game (leads Big Ten)
  • Sophomore forward: John Harrar: 3.4 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game
  • Freshman guard Rasir Bolton: 12.3 points per game; 87.3 percent free throw shooter (leads Big Ten)
  • Senior guard Josh Reaves: 10.0 points per game; 4.5 rebounds per game; 3.1 assists per game (tied for ninth in Big Ten); 2.5 steals per game (leads Big Ten)
  • Redshirt junior forward Mike Watkins: 7.8 points per game; 7.5 rebounds per game (10th in Big Ten); 55.2 percent from the field (seventh in Big Ten); 1.5 blocks per game
  • Freshman guard Myles Dread: 9.0 points per game; 2.7 rebounds per game
  • Sophomore guard Jamari Wheeler: 3.4 points per game; 3.0 rebounds per game