Penn St.-Wisconsin Preview

Penn State’s most recent victory over a Top 25 opponent came

against Wisconsin last month. However, the Nittany Lions might have

a tougher time trying to repeat that feat in Madison.

The No. 10 Badgers look to avenge that defeat while trying for a

14th consecutive home win over the Nittany Lions in a Big Ten

matchup Sunday.

After beating previously ranked Michigan State and Illinois in

consecutive home games, Penn State (14-11, 7-7) then snapped a

12-game skid against then-No. 17 Wisconsin with a 56-52 victory at

the Bryce Jordan Center on Jan. 29.

Though the Nittany Lions held the Badgers to 42.3 percent

shooting and received 22 points from star Talor Battle in that

contest, they are likely to be in for a bigger challenge at the

Kohl Center.

Penn State has dropped 13 in a row at Madison since winning

there in 1995, though it lost 79-71 in overtime at Wisconsin on

Jan. 24, 2010, and by four points there a year earlier.

The Nittany Lions also have lost their last five Big Ten road

games since winning 69-60 at Indiana to open league play Dec.

27.

Badgers coach Bo Ryan, however, is well aware of Penn State’s

talent led by Battle, who is tied with Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson

averaging a Big Ten-high 20.7 points per contest.

“Penn State and its seniors, all those guys are on the same

page,” said Ryan, a native of Chester, Pa.

Wisconsin (19-6, 9-4) has held opponents to 55.6 points during a

17-game home winning streak at the Kohl Center. This will be the

Badgers’ first home contest since handing then-No. 1 Ohio State its

first loss, 71-67 on Feb. 12.

The Badgers were unable to build on that victory and now must

try to bounce back from a 70-62 loss to the No. 11 Boilermakers on

Wednesday. Wisconsin is one game behind second-place Purdue in the

league standings.

After shooting 51.0 percent against the Buckeyes, the Badgers

made 40.7 percent of their shots, including a 3-of-19 effort from

3-point range.

Ryan didn’t believe his team exerted all its energy against Ohio

State, thus looking flat at Purdue.

“It never even came up,” Ryan said. “It’s not like we haven’t

beaten people before.”

Jon Leuer scored 23 points and Jordan Taylor had 15 to follow up

his 27-point effort against the Buckeyes.

Taylor has totaled 36 points in the last two games versus Penn

State, including 20 in the teams’ most recent meeting in Madison

last January.

Battle, who needs six assists to become the first Big Ten player

to post 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists, scored 28 at

Wisconsin last season. He also had 28 in Penn State’s 66-63 home

win over Minnesota on Thursday.

Though Battle is averaging 22.5 points at home in Big Ten play,

the senior guard has averaged 15.0 on 33.3 percent shooting his

last four conference road games.

Penn State will try to avoid a seventh consecutive road loss to

a Top 25 opponent since winning 38-33 at No. 18 Illinois on Feb.

18, 2009.