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Wisconsin men’s basketball: Three quick takeaways vs Penn State

The Badgers beat Penn State 79-74 in an OT thriller. What stood out from Wednesday night’s win?

The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions on Wednesday night in a 79-74 overtime thriller.

The team has now won two of their last three games, and they could be turning the season around at the right time.

Here are the quick takeaways from Wisconsin’s win on Wednesday.

The Return of Tyler Wahl

Tyler Wahl is back.

Wahl had an impressive performance with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists.

Since his injury, Wahl has struggled and hasn’t looked like the typical dominating player we are all used to seeing.

This wasn’t the case on Wednesday night.

Wahl dominated everywhere on the floor and looked like the All-Big Ten player he was voted as in the preseason.

If the Badgers can continue to get Tyler Wahl the ball, especially earlier in the game, this team will be in a much better position to win. It is no coincidence the Badgers win when Tyler Wahl is at his best.

Chucky Hepburn and Connor Essegian Light it up

Chucky Hepburn put up another solid performance with 19 points, including shooting 5-9 on threes.

Hepburn has faced immense criticism for his late-game shooting in recent games, however, he turned that around last night.

Hepburn hit a couple of huge shots in the final minutes of regulation, including a big three to put the Badgers up 68-65 with 33 seconds remaining. But a big shot from Penn State guard Seth Lundy tied the game at 68 and sent it to overtime.

When it mattered, Hepburn was there to put up big shots and continued to prove he is one of the best point guards in the conference.

Connor Essegian had another strong shooting performance. Essegian shot 4-7 on threes and scored 18 points in the win.

Essegian is blossoming right before our eyes as he continues to be one of the leading scorers on this team.

It speaks volumes about Essegian as a player when it isn’t surprising when he’s scoring 18 points in a game as a freshman.

Offense Shoulders Load with Lack of Defense

In another game where the Badgers struggled defensively, the offense was able to keep the team afloat and put together a much-needed victory.

Penn State had 4 starters scoring double-digit points, including a 17-point performance from star Jalen Pickett.

This was the first conference game for the Badgers with 70+ points since their win against the Iowa Hawkeyes back in December.

Steven Crowl scored 11 points, making that 4 of the 5 starters scoring double-digits and Jordan Davis scored 8 points off the bench including 2 big three-point shots.

When this team is shooting the ball well and scoring efficiently, they can be tough to stop and have the ability to make a run for it in March.