February 8, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Patrick Chambers reacts to play against Michigan State Spartans during the second half at Jack Breslin Students Events Center. MSU won 77-57. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State At Wisconsin Hoops Preview


Penn State hits the road to start Big 10 play in their own personal house of horrors, the Kohl Center in Madison and Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers (9-4).  Patrick Chambers squad enters the conference at 8-4 and on a four game winning streak.  The game will air on BTN at 8:30.

THE LAST TIME OUT

Penn State got out to a big lead against Duquense and held on to knock off the Dukes for their 4th straight win.  PSU lead by as many as 22 in the second half, but saw that margin dwindle to as few as 5 in the closing minutes as fouls mounted up, and the shots stopped falling.  D. J. Newbill posted his first double-double as a Nittany Lion with 23 points and 12 boards as he continues to settle into his point guard role.  Sasa Borovnjak continued to emerge as an inside threat with 14 points and senior Nick Colella set career highs with 15 points on 5 three-pointers.

ABOUT THE BADGERS

Dec 22, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Sam Dekker looks to pass as Wisconsin Milwaukee Panthers guard Mitch Roelke (20) defends during the first half at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin enters their Big 10 schedule on a 3 game winning streak and a 9-4 overall record.  Two of those four losses came to consensus top 15 teams (at Florida, Creighton) with the other two coming at home to Virginia in the Big 10/ACC Challenge and on the road against in-state rival Marquette.  The Badgers best wins came against Cal and Oklahoma.  Bo Ryan has his team playing their typical dominant defense, and expect more of the same tonight, especially with the typical Kohl Center home cooking.  As they usually do, Wisconsin has spread out the scoring, with 5 players averaging at least 7 points per game, but none more than 13. 4 (Jared Berggren).

THE MATCHUP

Penn State’s backcourt of Newbill and Jermaine Marshall will be tested like they have never been this season with the aggressive Badgers defense.  Expect Wisconsin to force the Lions to prove their “stand in” point guards can handle the pressure.  The last time PSU faced a defense like this in LaSalle, things fell apart quickly in the second half.  On the defensive end, Penn State needs to find a way to defend the 3-point arc better than they have this year, with 4 Badgers shooting over 40% from three, lead by Sam Dekker at 44%.  The Lions offense has been better of late, but they have not been challenged like they will in Madison.  This one looks like another tough night for PSU hoops in the Kohl Center.

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Tags: Basketball D.J. Newbill Penn State Nittany Lions Sam Dekker Wisconsin Badgers