Feb. 19, 2012
BY BRIAN MASON
UW Athletic Communications
STAR OF THE GAME
Wisconsin did most of its damage from downtown in a 65-55 win over Penn State, draining 50 percent of its attempts from 3-point range. Josh Gasser was a big reason for that number thanks to his 3-for-5 effort from beyond the arc, a shooting display that helped him post his highest point total since November with a team-high 15. He was also a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line, grabbed five rebounds and dished out a pair of assists. A tip of the hat also to junior Mike Bruesewitz for a relentless effort on the boards that saw him pull down a career-high 12 rebounds to go along with seven points and a season-best five assists.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Fittingly, in game that was won largely on 3-pointers, the Badgers’ biggest play came from long range. Mired in a field-goal drought that had stretched to 6 minutes and 25 seconds, the Badgers watched their once-comfortable lead whittled all the way down to five points, at 51-46, with 5:30 to play. That’s when Jordan Taylor found Jared Berggren, who stepped up and splashed a 3-pointer from the wing to help stop the bleeding. Berggren then buried another triple 100 seconds later that extended the Badgers’ lead to nine points and effectively put things out of reach for the Nittany Lions.
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME
When Gasser got going, so did the Badgers. Sandwiched between triples by Berggren and Ben Brust, Gasser knocked down 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions to help the Badgers blow things wide open in the first half. It took just five trips down the floor over 2 minutes and 34 seconds for the Badgers to stretch their lead to a comfortable 14 points at 27-13. Penn State managed to trim the lead to single digits in the second half, but the Badgers’ 3-point barrage helped provide enough of a cushion to weather the Nittany Lions’ late run.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Badgers’ 3-point shooting prowess, dominance on the glass and strong performance at the free throw line all added up to zero. As in zero ties or lead changes. Wisconsin jumped out to a 3-0 lead when Taylor splashed a 3-pointer just over two minutes into the game, an advantage the Badgers never relinquished.