Penn State Loses Heartbreaker to Wisconsin on Buzzer Beater
In a season where losing has been frequent, Penn State’s most heartbreaking loss came in the final game of the regular season.
With less than five seconds on the clock, Wisconsin sophomore guard Traevon Jackson sprinted up the left side of the court, rose up and hit a contested game-winning 3-pointer as time expired to give the Badgers a last-second win over the Nittany Lions, 63-60.
PSU’s D.J. Newbill had tied the game at 60 with a jumper from the elbow with 5.4 seconds to go and the Badgers nearly threw the ensuing in-bounds pass away when a jump ball was called on a great diving steal attempt from Nick Colella. Penn State would have had a chance for a game-winner, but the possession arrow was in Wisconsin’s favor leading to Jackson’s clutch shot.
Jackson, a 29 percent shooter from long range, knocked down all three of his 3-point attempts and scored a career-high 15 points. He was one of four Badgers in double figures. Sam Dekker and Ben Brust scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, while senior big man Jared Berggren contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds despite turning an ankle midway through the second half.
Over the past month, Penn State (10-20, 2-16 Big Ten) has shown they are a much-improved team, so when Wisconsin (21-10, 12-6 Big Ten) quickly jumped out to 16-7 lead, it was no surprise when the Nittany Lions battled back. Penn State went on an 18-8 run to end the first half and led 25-24 at halftime.
Jermaine Marshall (23 points) and Newbill (22 points) provided 75 percent of Penn State’s offense, but no third scorer stepped up when Penn State needed it. The Nittany Lions struggled when Marshall was relegated to the bench with four fouls with 6:21 left in the second half. With Marshall out, the Wisconsin defense keyed on Newbill and the Badgers retook the lead, 53-52, with 5:19 to go. Penn State would never lead in the game again.
Ross Travis was Penn State’s third-leading scorer with six points and 11 rebounds and after a string of recent success, Sasa Borovnjak registered just four points and two rebounds in his final home game as a Nittany Lion. Both teams shot 43 percent from the field and 33 percent from the field.
The Nittany Lions head into the Big Ten tournament Thursday as the 12-seed where a rematch with Wisconsin could be in the cards if Michigan beats Indiana at home this afternoon.