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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024

Men's Basketball: Jackson’s buzzer-beater puts Badgers past Penn State

The first 39 minutes, 56 seconds weren’t the prettiest, but No. 22 Wisconsin (12-6 Big Ten, 21-10 overall) escaped with a win at Penn State (2-16, 10-20) on sophomore guard Traevon Jackson’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center.

The Westerville, Ohio, native finished with 15 points (6-of-11 shooting), five rebounds, four assists and one turnover in the Badgers’ 63-60 win to close their regular season slate.

Wisconsin scored the game’s first eight points and led 18-11 midway through the first half, thanks in part to knocking down eight of its first 14 shots. The Badgers moved the ball much better during that opening stretch than they did Thursday at Michigan State or during the second half against Purdue, recording assists on six of their first eight buckets (8-of-14).

However, UW was held scoreless over the next six minutes (0-of-8 from the floor) as the Nittany Lions rattled off 10 straight points to take the lead. The home team took a 25-24 advantage into the locker room.

The Badgers and Nittany Lions exchanged baskets throughout the second half, with neither side leading by more than two scores as they swapped the lead 15 times.

Following an elbow jumper from PSU sophomore guard D.J. Newbill to even the score at 60, senior forward Mike Bruesewitz led Jackson on an inbounds pass with just 5.6 seconds remaining. It appeared both Bruesewitz and Jackson wanted to let the ball roll out to preserve a couple extra seconds, but Penn State senior guard Nick Colella dove on the loose ball to force a tie-up, taking precious seconds off the clock in the process.

Fortunately for Wisconsin, the arrow pointed its way, as redshirt senior Jared Berggren had forced a jump ball on a Newbill jump shot with three minutes remaining to switch possession in UW’s favor.

The 3.3 seconds left on the clock was enough time for Jackson to take four dribbles, pull up and launch the high-arching game-winner from 25 feet.

Berggren, who had to leave the contest twice with apparent ankle injuries, finished with 12 points (6-of-8 shooting), 10 rebounds and two blocks.

The Nittany Lions entered play Sunday as hot as a 10-win team could, having won two of their past three games, including an 84-78 upset over then-No. 4 Michigan. Penn State’s two leading scorers, Newbill and junior guard Jermaine Marshall, finished with 22 and 23 points, respectively, but the rest of the Nittany Lions combined to shoot just 5-of-13 on the day.

With No. 2 Indiana topping the No. 7 Wolverines to claim its first outright Big Ten regular season title since 1993, the Badgers finished tied for fourth in the conference for the 12th straight season under head coach Bo Ryan.

Thanks to Wisconsin’s 65-62 overtime win over Michigan in February, UW will be slotted No. 4 in the conference tournament this week at the United Center in Chicago. The Badgers will play Friday afternoon against the winner of Thursday’s Penn State-Michigan matchup.

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