No 22 Wisconsin holds off Penn State 63-60
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. Traevon Jackson made a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer and finished with 15 points, and No. 22 Wisconsin survived an upset scare from Penn State to win its regular-season finale 63-60 Sunday.
The Badgers (21-10, 12-6 Big Ten) went the length of the court with less than 4 seconds left. Jackson pulled up at the wing and made the 3 over the outstretched arm of Kevin Montminy.
Officials upheld the basket on the review, and anxious fans at the Jordan Center let out a collective sigh of disappointment.
D.J. Newbill had tied the game with 5 seconds left with a jumper. Wisconsin nearly threw the ball away on the ensuing inbounds, but managed to hold on in the scrape on the floor and called timeout to set up Jackson's basket.
Jermaine Marshall finished with 23 points for Penn State (10-20, 2-16).
Wisconsin stopped a two-game losing streak that dropped the Badgers out of the Big Ten title race. Poor second-half play doomed them each time in defeats to Purdue and Michigan State.
This time, Jackson and the Badgers held on down the stretch — though there were plenty of harrowing moments.
The Badgers turned the ball over on an inbounds under their own basket with less than 25 seconds left, giving the Nittany Lions another chance to tie.
Newbill missed a long jumper, but Nick Colella corralled the rebound and found Newbill again. The sophomore guard did a stutter-step before pulling up at the elbow for the tying bucket.
Mike Bruesewitz then almost threw the ball away again from the exact same spot before the Badgers scrambled to hold on for possession and Jackson's game-winner.
Sam Dekker finished with 14 points, while Jared Berggren had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Badgers entered Sunday a game back of Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State with a chance to pull into a second-place tie in the Big Ten — if those other three teams lost, too.
They might be last in the Big Ten, but the Nittany Lions challenged Wisconsin. They're 2-2 since starting 0-14 in conference, and the tough play extended into the regular-season finale at an energized Jordan Center.
After starting 5 of 6 from the field, Penn State tightened up defensively to hold the Badgers to 5 of 21 the rest of the first half. The Nittany Lions' one-two guard punch of Marshall and Newbill each scored 10 for a 25-24 halftime lead, and the game settled into a see-saw affair the rest of the way.
Last updated: 7:58 am Monday, April 29, 2013