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Trae-mendous: Jackson, Badgers bury Penn State on buzzer-beater


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Wisconsin 22 Wisconsin 63, Penn State 60
Bryce-Jordan Center • University Park, Pa. • Attendance: 8,701

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Penn State

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1st 2nd Final
 Wisconsin
24 39 63
 Penn State
25 35 60
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Traevon Jackson: 15 Pts, 5 Reb 6-11 FG
 • Sam Dekker: 14 Pts, 4 Reb 7-8 FT
 • Ben Brust: 13 Pts, 4 Ast 5-11 FG
 Stats at a Glance
WIS PSU
 FG Percentage .431 .434
 3-Point FG Percentage .333 .333
 FT Percentage .800 .786
 Offensive Rebounds 6 7
 Defensive Rebounds 22 24
 Total Rebounds 28 31
 Turnovers 8 6
 Pts in Paint 20 30
 Bench Pts 17 3
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March 10, 2013

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Maybe Traevon Jackson made his buzzer-beating 3-pointer because Penn State forgot he was left-handed. Or maybe it's because of the free run Jackson had to his spot on the left wing.

What the Wisconsin guard cared about most was that the bucket allowed the 22nd-ranked Badgers to survive an upset scare from Penn State and win its regular-season finale 63-60 Sunday.

"It felt good. When the shot comes off your hand like that ... I just kind of knew it was going to go in," the sophomore said coolly after the game, headphones draped around his neck.

The Badgers (21-10, 12-6) escaped Happy Valley with a hard-fought victory against the Big Ten's last-place team and stopped a two-game losing streak that dropped them out of contention for the conference title.

Jackson's shot may be the break the Badgers were looking for heading into this week's Big Ten tournament. In the locker room after the game, freshman Sam Dekker (14 points) told teammates the victory could be a "mojo-shifter."

"After losing two straight, we got down on ourselves," Dekker said. "That will hopefully be a momentum-shifter for us going into the Big Ten tournament."

 Fast Facts
• Jackson nails 25-foot buzzer-beater to seal win
• Badgers shoot 12-for-15 (.800) from the free throw stripe
• Game saw 17 lead changes & six ties

Jackson finished with 15 points. Jermaine Marshall had a game-high 23 points for Penn State (10-20, 2-16), while D.J. Newbill added 22, including a jumper with 5 seconds left to tie the game at 60.

"We earned the right to win this one. That's why this one hurts," a solemn coach Patrick Chambers said. "To lose on that type of (ending) ... you feel for them."

After Newbill's bucket, Wisconsin nearly threw the ball away on the ensuing inbounds but managed to hold on in the scrape on the floor after the officials called a tie-up.

Jackson took some of the blame for that near-turnover. He said he was too far from teammate Mike Bruesewitz to get a clean look at the inbounds play.

But he did make a clean catch on the next inbounds.

The Nittany Lions pressed, but Jackson said he went unguarded in a dash up the left sideline to his spot on the left wing. Penn State's Kevin Montminy lunged with an outstretched arm, but it was too late.

Officials held up the shot upon review, and the anxious fans at the Jordan Center let out a collective sigh of disappointment.

"We can't get a better shot like that on an out-of-bounds play ... He knew and there was no hesitation," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said.

"Also (Jackson) is left-handed. That was the advantage."

Chambers liked what he saw, too, from his guys.

"Give Jackson credit. Tough shot," Chambers said. "I thought Kevin did a good job contesting."

Poor second-half play doomed Wisconsin in its previous two games - 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 for the tying bucket.

Seconds later, Jackson made his 3 that had his Wisconsin teammates pumping their arms in victory.

"We just did 25 to 30 of those same situations (in practice) about a week ago," Ryan said. "Now the ball still has to go in. It's a tough shot ... but they know the drill."

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.

But the Buckeyes beat Illinois, 68-55, later Sunday to muddle Wisconsin 's chances of moving up for better Big Ten tournament seeding.

Wisconsin will play the winner of the Michigan/Penn State matchup on Friday, March 15. The Badgers will tip-off following the first quarterfinal game of the day, which is slated to begin at 11 a.m. (CT). The 2013 Big Ten tournament will begin Thursday, March 14, at the United Center in Chicago, Ill.

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