MADISON Wisc. (KDKA/AP) – Penn State’s hopes to make the NCAA Tournament took a hit with Sunday’s 76-66 loss to No. 10 Wisconsin.
Talor Battle led Penn State (14-12, 7-8 Big Ten) with 23 points, three rebounds and three assists. Battle scored 21 of his 23 points from behind the 3-point line. His two other points came at the free throw line.
Despite the loss and the fading hope of making the tournament, Penn States’ Jeff Brooks remains optimistic.
“We need the next three – all three,” Brooks said. “We’re going to have to beat Northwestern at Northwestern. We’re going to have to find a way to beat Ohio State because they’re a very talented team.”
“Then we have to go to Minnesota and get a win out there at the Barn. It’s a very tough environment to win in. But I think that we can do it.”
Brooks is the teams’ leading rebounder per game, but finished Sunday’s game with 16 points and one rebound. Tim Frazier also added 12 points and six rebounds.
The Badgers (20-6, 10-4 Big Ten) were led by Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil with 22 points. Leuer added 10 rebounds, three assists and Nankivil was perfect from behind the 3-point line. He scored 15 of his 22 points off 3-pointers.
The Badgers’ win, coupled with No. 11 Purdue’s upset of No. 2 Ohio State, puts Wisconsin one game behind the Boilermakers and two behind the Buckeyes in the conference race.