Wisconsin Game Grades
Penn State went on the road and dropped a heartbreaker to Wisconsin, losing 61-57. The loss dropped the Nittany Lions to 12-17 on the season, but it was impressive that they stayed competitive against a top-25 team. Here are grades for Penn State’s performance on Saturday afternoon.
Penn State’s offense was not particularly good on Saturday, but a lot of the credit has to go to the Wisconsin defense, which has been one of the best in the Big Ten this season. Penn State only had two double-digit scorers as Lamar Stevens had 22 and Josh Reaves had 14.
Much of Penn State’s success as of late has been due to the fact of the supporting cast contributing, and not just relying on Stevens. On Saturday that was not the case as Stevens could not will Penn State to a victory.
There will be many questions regarding the last two possessions of the game for Penn State. They had two opportunities to tie or win the game and they failed on both. The first one was a post-up attempt to Stevens that he hit out of bounds, and the second one failed after Penn State may have been fouled.
The offense for Penn State has looked better as of late, so hopefully, for the Nittany Lions, this game was more of Wisconsin’s strong defense and less of Penn State’s offense returning to their old ways.
Penn State’s defense deserves a lot of credit for keeping the Nittany Lions in this game. They held one of the best teams in the country to only 61 points and had a chance to win at the end. Penn State also only allowed two double-digit scorers for the Badgers.
Penn State held Wisconsin star Ethan Happ to only 14 points and if Brevin Pritzl didn’t get hot to the tune of 17 points, then Penn State probably wins this game. No one else on Wisconsin scored more than nine points.
The Nittany Lions defense has been one of their strengths this season and if they can keep it up and the offense continues to improve, then they can be a team that makes some noise in the Big Ten Tournament.
Pat Chambers deserves credit for the growth of this Penn State team this season and also deserves credit for the competitiveness of his team against Wisconsin. Where questions will arise on Chambers is for the lack of execution at the end of the game.
Late game execution has been an area in which Penn State has struggled this year. Some of that can be credited to inexperience, but the coaching deserves some blame as well. Hopefully, that is something that improves down the stretch and into next season.
Jake Starr is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.