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Wisconsin Basketball: Badgers edge past Penn State in 79-74 OT thriller

Wisconsin men’s basketball went on the road and defeated their Big 10 rivals in a much-needed game.

The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions in a 79-74 overtime thriller, improving to 14-9 on the season, as well as 6-7 in the conference.

Wisconsin started the game strong defensively. In the first ten minutes of the first half, they lead the game 18-12.

In the first ten minutes of the game, Wisconsin held Penn State to 5-13 shooting defensively, which was 38% shooting from the field.

During that span of the game, Penn State Guard Kanye Clary got into foul trouble picking up his second foul around the 10-minute mark in the first half.

Most importantly, the Wisconsin Badgers defense held Jalen Pickett, Penn State’s star scorer, to 0-4 shooting in the first 13 minutes of the game.

In my preview, I stated that keeping Pickett quiet during this game would be vital, given that he is their leading scorer.

With Pickett starting slow, the Penn State Nittany Lions started the game shooting 2-7 from three, whereas the Badgers offensively started the game shooting really well, hitting 8-15 from the floor and 3-4 from three.

Jalen Pickett finally hit his first shot with 6:57 left in the first half.

During a three-minute span, each team exchanged buckets.

During this span, Penn State guard Seth Lundy picked up his second personal foul that had Lundy sit the rest of the half.

The Badgers' defense held the Nittany Lions scoreless for the final 3:17 seconds of the half. In the last 7 seconds, however, Jalen Pickett scored a layup to go to the break.

The Badgers on the road went into the half up 35-29. The key reason is holding the Nittany Lions to 2-9 shooting from three.

The Nittany Lions had good shots that just didn't fall.

On the other hand, the Badgers knocked down key shots, going 4-9 from three.

Surprisingly, the Badgers got to the free-throw line 8 times and made seven of those shots.

Coming out of the half, both teams exchanged buckets and were shooting the ball better.

Like the first half, the Badgers continued to hit timely threes.

Just as the Nittany Lions pulled close, the Badgers would hit a three. Now, the difference in the second half was that the Nittany Lions three-ball was falling as well.

At the 12-minute mark, the Badgers picked up their 7th foul of the half. For the rest of the game, the Nittany Lions would be rewarded with free throws no matter the foul.

Additionally, around that time, the Nittany Lions cut the lead to two. Chucky Hepburn answered with a big three to put the lead back at 5.

However, the fouling issue for the Badgers continued giving Penn State more opportunities from the charity stripe.

Wisconsin did a good job of matching each shot by the Nittany Lions. The game was coming down to who will get stops.

At the seven-minute mark, the game was close, with the Badgers holding a 56-54 lead.

The game could go either way as Jalen Pickett was getting hot in the second half. With seven minutes remaining, he had scored nine points in the second half while shooting 4-7 from the field.

The Badgers would be tested! They have struggled on the road this season, and have struggled recently in close games, and got both in one game against the Nittany Lions.

With 6:30 left in the game, Penn State tied it all up at 56!

Freshman Connor Essegian answered in a big way, hitting a big three to take the lead back and end the Nittany Lions run, only to be followed up with a three from Penn State senior Andrew Funk.

The Badgers missed on their next possession and another Penn State senior, Seth Lundy, hit a huge three to take the lead 62-59 with 4:14 remaining in the game.

I said Wisconsin would have to limit Penn State’s three-point shot. However, with 4:14 remaining in the game, Penn State was shooting 6-8 from deep in the second half.

That enabled Penn State to go on a 13-3 run to take the lead. During this run, Wisconsin would go scoreless for 2:30 seconds.

Chucky Hepburn would eventually hit a huge three, regaining the lead for the Badgers with a 63-62 score.

Hepburn would follow up his big shot by committing a foul that would give Penn State an opportunity to take the lead, tying the game with just under three minutes left at 63 a piece.

Wisconsin secured a rebound with about 1:30 second left in the game, and immediately called a time-out.

Out of the timeout, Gard drew up that led to a missed three by Tyler Wahl.

Penn State did exactly what Wisconsin did after the rebound: call a timeout to draw up a play.

But, with 1:10 left in the game, Penn State would turn the ball over and freshman guard Connor Essegian would be credited with the steal.

With 44 seconds left in the game, once again, head coach Greg Gard called timeout to try and draw up a game-winning play for the Badgers.

That led to a major three-pointer off isolation from Chucky Hepburn, who stepped back on the shot and gave the Badgers a three-point lead with 30 seconds remaining.

But, defensively the Badgers couldn't get it done, as Seth Lundy would make a huge three to tie the game.

Afterward, Chucky Hepburn would miss the potential game-winner with a second left.

The Badgers and Nittany Lions would go to overtime to determine the outcome of the game.

On the first possession of overtime, Tyler Wahl drew a foul, giving him two free throws, where he would split the pair.

The Badgers got a stop on defense and, then again, freshman Connor Essegian would hit a big 3.

With four fouls, Penn State scoring leader Jalen Pickett would get a layup to cut the lead back to two.

But, as Penn State tried to climb back, Wahl had a huge block on Pickett!

Hepburn would then push the lead to four, before Pickett cut it right back to two.

This would be one of the most back-and-forth games of the season that I have personally watched.

Pickett would eventually foul out with 24 seconds left in the overtime period.

Wahl would again split free throws. With 18 seconds left, the Badgers led 77-72, eventually holding off and winning on the road in a tight game 79-74.

The Badgers survived a great second half from the Nittany Lions who shot the ball great!

The Nittany Lions in the second half shot 62% from the field and 78% from three.

The Badgers in the second half shot the ball 50% from the field and 42.9% from three.

The difference in the game would end up being the first half. Wisconsin had led by six and would go on to win by five.

Badgers would have key shots fall throughout the game that held get them past the Nittany Lions in a must-win game.

Chucky Hepburn would lead the way with 19 points, followed by Connor Essegian’s 18 and Tyler Wahl’s 16.