STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Brian Butch scored a career-high 23
points and had 12 rebounds and Kammron Taylor added 24 points as
Wisconsin used its height advantage to defeat the Nittany Lions
82-62 Saturday to keep pace in the tight Big Ten race.
The 6-foot-11 Butch assumed much of the scoring load with
Wisconsin's leading scorer, Alondo Tucker, on the bench with foul
trouble early in the second half. He towered over the Nittany
Lions' front line, often scoring on putbacks or easy layups.
Taylor foiled Penn State from the outside, going 6-of-7 from
behind the 3-point arc. Butch, who shot 11-of-15 from the field,
and Taylor sparked a second-half run that overcame a 36-34 halftime
deficit for Wisconsin (17-7, 7-4 Big Ten).
The win allowed the Badgers to stay one game back of No. 18 Iowa
in the conference standings after the Hawkeyes defeated No. 24
Indiana on Saturday.
Six-foot-5 Geary Claxton led Penn State (11-11, 3-8) with 21
points and nine rebounds while 6-foot-6 Jamelle Cornley added 14
points, all in the first half. Penn State lost despite just three
turnovers in the game.
Claxton, Cornley and 6-foot-5 forward Travis comprised the
Nittany Lions' starting front line against Wisconsin, which started
four players 6-6 or taller. They used that height advantage to
outrebound Penn State 45-24, including 18-6 on the offensive end.
Parker hit a foul-line jumper to give Penn State a 38-34 lead
about 15 seconds into the second half, but the Nittany Lions then
failed to get a field goal for more than seven minutes. Butch
scored on an assortment of easy inside buckets and Taylor nailed a
trey to help the Badgers get out to a 50-40 lead, and the Badgers
were never threatened again.
The Nittany Lions have lost two straight at home since upsetting
Illinois last Saturday on the road.