Penn State Basketball

Wisconsin dominates 2nd half to cruise past Penn State


Penn State’s 3-point shooting prevented No. 15 Wisconsin from pulling away in the first half.

Coming out of the break, the Badgers used a flurry of 3s to break the game open.

Zak Showalter was left all alone at the top of the key for a 3-pointer to give Wisconsin a 10-point lead less than two minutes into the second half. Bronson Koenig buried a 3 from the corner less than one minute later, and Vitto Brown drilled a contested 3 to push Wisconsin’s lead to 14 with 15:46 left.

From there, the Badgers rolled to an 82-55 win over the Nittany Lions on Tuesday night at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin outscored Penn State 46-22 in the second half to hand the Nittany Lions their third straight loss.

Koenig scored a game-high 20 points, Brown added 16 and Ethan Happ finished with 14 for Wisconsin (17-3, 6-1 Big Ten).

Tony Carr and Payton Banks each finished with 12 points for the Nittany Lions (11-10, 3-5).

Both teams finished with nine 3-pointers, with Penn State shooting 50 percent from long range and Wisconsin shooting 39.1 percent.

Penn State trailed for more than 19 minutes in the first half, but the Nittany Lions stayed close behind thanks to their 3-point shooting.

Shep Garner knocked down three 3-pointers, and Banks hit a pair of 3s, part of a 6 for 10 effort from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.

The Nittany Lions went into halftime trailing 36-33.

But the Badgers seized control with a 13-2 run to start the second half, including the 3s by Showalter and Koenig.

Wisconsin shot 55.6 percent from the field and limited Penn State to 26.9 percent shooting in the second half.

The Nittany Lions host Illinois at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Ryne Gery: 814-231-4679, @rgery