STATE COLLEGE —
Josh Gasser scored 15 points to lead a balanced Wisconsin offense and the 14th-ranked Badgers beat Penn State 71-66 on Sunday for their seventh straight victory.
Wisconsin (24-5, 11-5 Big Ten) held onto third place in the Big Ten as Ben Brust scored 14 points and Traevon Jackson, who made four clutch free throws down the stretch, added 13.
D.J. Newbill had 23 points for Penn State (14-15, 5-11), which dropped to 2-5 against ranked teams this season. The redshirt junior became Penn State’s 31st career 1,000-point scorer. He leads the Big Ten this season with 178 field goals.
Tim Frazier and Ross Travis scored 10 points each for Penn State, which is 4-7 in games decided by five points or fewer.
The Nittany Lions closed within 66-64 with 18 seconds left but was forced to foul. Jackson went 4 for 4 from the line during the closing seconds and Gasser was 2 for 2.
Newbill committed two turnovers after Penn State had drawn within three points and Wisconsin was able to hold on.
The Badgers were 8 for 24 from 3-point range and held Penn State to 1-for-13 shooting from behind the arc. Penn State outrebounded the Badgers 34-28.
Gasser’s two free throws put the Badgers up by seven points but a backcourt violation and two missed shots enabled Newbill and Travis to tighten the gap to 62-59. Wisconsin missed again but Newbill lost control of the ball on the way to the basket with 2:23 to go.
Penn State had closed within two points twice on free throws by Travis and Newbill, and each time Brust was able to get free for a drive and a long 3-pointer to give the Badgers a 51-46 lead.
The Badgers opened two nine-point leads in the first half but Newbill responded each time with either a 3-pointer or consecutive baskets to keep the Lions close.
Frazier was saddled with his third foul with 2:54 remaining in the opening half.