Few things have come easy for the University of Wisconsin as of late, so go figure that the Badgers get their easiest win at Bryce Jordan Center in over a decade.
Ethan Happ scored 22 points as No.22 Wisconsin broke a two-game skid to rout Penn State, 71-52 Sunday in State College, PA.
Eight players scored for the Badgers (11-4, 3-1 Big Ten), which delivered its biggest road win in the series since winning by 25 points in 2008 and their seventh straight overall. The previous six, however, came by an average of 4.8 points per game with none of the games decided by more than eight points.
After a slow start, Wisconsin turned the game into a blowout thanks in large part to players not named Happ or D’Mitrik Trice.
While the senior did deliver the points, it took him 24 shots to get there. And Trice’s five points (2-for-9) were a season-low for UW in a win. Unlike previous outings, the struggles from those two didn’t sink the ship.
Davison hit all three of his 3-pointers and an off-balanced deep two pointer to end the first half, giving the Badgers a lift entering the locker room and set the stage for his 14 points. Charles Thomas scored seven points off the bench, including a 3-pointer in the first half that capped the decisive 15-4 run that gave UW more than enough breathing room.
Nate Reuvers had his best game in over a month with 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two charges taken, while Khalil Iverson was active (five rebounds, three assists, two steals) despite not scoring.
The 3-point shot also returned. After going a combined 11-for-43 in losses to Western Michigan and Minnesota, Wisconsin went 8-for-16 Sunday. As a team, UW shot 49.2 percent from the floor.
Playing without head coach Pat Chambers, who was suspended for one game after shoving one of his players Thursday, the Nittany Lions lacked any kind of rhythm.
Committing 11 turnovers on 33 first-half possessions (including 10 of the first 20 possessions), the Nittany Lions shot a better percentage than the Badgers in the first half (43.5 to 41.2 percent), limited Happ to 5-for-15 shooting and closed the half on a 7-2 run. Yet, they still trailed 33-23 at the break.
When Wisconsin started the second half 7-for-11, Penn State responded by going 4-for-12 and never mounted any tangible threat.
Lamar Stevens scored 22 points for the Nittany Lions, which didn’t put another player in double figures and shot only 37.7 percent for the game, 4-for-20 from 3-point range.
Wisconsin hosts Purdue Friday in the only regular-season meeting between the two programs.