Penn State and Wisconsin set basketball back decades in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday night, scoring a combined 69 points as the Nittany Lions held on for a 36-33 win. Scoring was at a premium all night as Penn State took a 20-16 lead into the half. Instead of coming out of the game hot, it was more of the same in the second as the two teams combined to score just 33 points in the final frame. The game did make the record books, however, as the lowest scoring game in Big Ten Tournament history.
The slow pace — Penn State and Wisconsin average two of the slowest tempos in all of college basketball — combined with poor shooting led to a less than entertaining game. Penn State was marginally better, shooting 33.3 percent compared to Wisconsin’s 29.4 percent. The Badgers and Nittany Lions didn’t believe in the three-pointer, either, combining to hit just five — three from Penn State and two from Wisconsin.
None of the seven Penn State players that logged minutes were in double-figures, with Talor Battle scoring a team-high nine points. Tim Frazier added eight points and David Jackson had seven as Penn State spread what little scoring there was around. All five starters scored, though the bench never got on the board.
It was a two-man show for the Badgers as Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer combined for 26 of Wisconsin’s 33 points. Taylor finished with a game-high 16 points, with Leuer adding 10 of his own. Leuer also had a team-high six rebounds.
Now that the carnage is over, Penn State moves on to face Michigan State in the semifinals on Saturday.
Quarterfinals: Friday, March 11
No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes defeats Northwestern, 67-61 (OT)
No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers defeats Michigan State, 74-56
Penn State defeats Wisconsin 36-33
Semifinals: Saturday, March 12
Ohio State vs. Michigan, 1:40 p.m., CBS
Michigan State vs. Penn State, 25 minutes after first semifinal, CBS
Championship game: Sunday, March 13
Semifinals winners, 9, ESPN