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Penn State continues Big Ten home streak, downs No. 17 Wisconsin

Jan 30, 2011 - 2:09 AM University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Talor Battle scored 22 points and pulled down five rebounds, as the Penn State Nittany Lions knocked off their third ranked opponent in the month of January with a 56-52 victory over the 17th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers.

Penn State (12-8, 5-4 Big Ten) defeated Michigan State, 66-62, on January 8, and just three days later took down Illinois, 57-55. It marked the first time that the Nittany Lions defeated ranked opponents in consecutive games since the 1954 NCAA Tournament.

Those two home wins coupled with Wednesday's victory over Iowa and Saturday's win means that Penn State has won four consecutive Big Ten home games for the first time since going 9-0 in the first year of the Bryce Jordan Center in 1996.

Jeff Brooks and David Jackson added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Nittany Lions, who got 14 boards and six points from Andrew Jones.

"Definitely, it's a sense of urgency," Battle said. "At this point, we need every game. That's what we tell ourselves, every game is big. It's tough that we already lost one on the home court. We have to try to win out the rest of the year on the home court and then try to steal a few on the road."

Jon Leuer tallied 18 points to pace the Badgers (15-5, 5-3), who had a three- game winning streak snapped. Jordan Taylor chipped in with 16 points.

Keaton Nankivil donated 11 points and seven rebounds for Wisconsin, which went 2-of-3 from the foul line for the game. In comparison, Penn State made 12- of-20 from the charity stripe.

Battle scored seven straight Penn State points to pull the home team within two, 35-33, with 13:18 to play. Just moments later, Tim Frazier made a layup and Battle made a three-pointer to give the Nittany Lions a 38-35 edge.

But the Badgers came right back to take a 42-40 lead on Nankivil's trey and Leuer's layup with under seven minutes remaining.

Penn State responded with a game-winning 11-2 run. Battle and Brooks got the burst going with a pair of three-pointers around Mike Bruesewitz's miss from beyond the arc.

Tim Jarmusz missed another three-pointer for Wisconsin, leading to a pair of Jackson free throws for a 48-42 Penn State lead with under four minutes left.

Jones capped the surge with a layup and free throw to give the home team a 51-44 edge with 41 seconds to play.

Battle made 5-of-6 shots from the foul line down the stretch to snap Penn State's 12-game skid against Wisconsin.

The Badgers started the game on a 22-9 run. Taylor and Leuer tallied nine and eight points, respectively, during the burst.

Penn State responded with an ensuing 11-2 flurry to get back in the game. Jermaine Marshall's three-point play cut the gap to 24-20 with 2:12 left.

But Leuer's jumper and Taylor's trey before the break gave Wisconsin a 29-20 edge.

"We're not even finished in the first half of the Big-Ten season, I have to figure out some things about Purdue on the flight home," Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. "We are getting ready for that. We're pretty decent if we are multi-tasking on the offensive end, inside and out. Makes for a different game, you could look at 20 games today and break them all down."

Game Notes

Wisconsin still owns a commanding 25-9 advantage in the all-time series with Penn State...The Nittany Lions made 63.2 percent of their shots in the second half, while the Badgers shot 32.1 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes.