CONFERENCES COACHING CHANGES TRANSACTIONS GAMING MATCHUP CURRENT ODDS
Penn State (12-2) at Wisconsin (10-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 3rd, 2:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kohl Center (17,142) -- Madison, Wisconsin. Television: BTN. Home Record: PSU 9-1, Wisconsin 6-1. Away Record: PSU 2-0, Wisconsin 2-1. Neutral Record: PSU 1-1, Wisconsin 2-1. Conference Record: PSU 1-0, Wisconsin 1-0. Series Record: Wisconsin leads, 21-8.
GAME NOTES: The Penn State Nittany Lions and Wisconsin Badgers will battle for a 2-0 Big Ten start today, as they meet at the Kohl Center in Madison. For the third straight season, the Lions kicked off their Big Ten slate on a winning note, as they nipped Northwestern, 61-57, on Wednesday. The victory was the fifth in a row for PSU, which is off to its best start since the 1995-96 season at 12-2. The Lions now take back to the road, where they have gone a perfect 2-0 thus far. As for Wisconsin, it too got off on the right foot in Big Ten play, knocking off 23rd-ranked Michigan, 73-61, on the road this past Wednesday. It was the fourth win in the last five outings for the Badgers, as they improved to 10-3 on the year. The team will now try to continue its success at home, where it has gone 6-1 on the season. Wisconsin also owns a 21-8 advantage in the head-to-head series with PSU and that includes wins in each of the last eight meetings.
The Lions were able to overcome a horrific 31.0 percent shooting performance from the floor by knocking down 11-of-27 three-point attempts and 14-of-20 chances at the foul line in a narrow win over Northwestern on Wednesday. The team also dominated the boards, 46-24, including a 19-1 advantage on the offensive glass. Talor Battle made 7-of-13 long-range attempts and he finished with a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds to pace PSU. Stanley Pringle put forth 14 points, and Andrew Jones snared 10 caroms in the win. On the season, Battle has been just sensational for the Lions, as he leads the team in scoring (19.6 ppg), assists (5.3 apg) and steals (22). He is also grabbing 6.1 rpg and shooting a solid 44.7 percent from long distance. Jamelle Cornley checks in with 14.1 ppg and a team-high 7.1 rpg, while Pringle adds 14.0 ppg and 3.2 apg to the mix. As a team, PSU is netting 72.5 ppg and making 40.3 percent of is shots from three-point land.
The Badgers shot a blistering 58.7 percent from the floor, including a 6-of-14 effort from long distance, as they upended Michigan on Wednesday. The team converted 13-of-17 free-throw tries and even held a 30-26 edge on the boards. Marcus Landry and Trevon Hughes each tallied 16 points to lead the charge for Wisconsin, while Jon Leuer had 12 points and five boards off the bench. On the season, Hughes tops the club in scoring at 12.8 ppg and he is deadly from beyond the arc, draining 49.0 percent of his attempts. Landry nips at his heels with 12.4 ppg and he is pulling down 4.1 rpg, while Jason Bohannon chips in with 10.8 ppg. Overall, the Badgers have fared well at both ends of the floor this season, scoring 67.1 ppg and holding their opponents to just 59.8 ppg.
Both teams are off to a great start, but go with the Badgers in this one, as they are tough to beat at home and are the better defensive squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wisconsin 67, Penn State 61
01/03 10:27:00 ET