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No. 5 Wisconsin hangs on to beat Penn State

Feb 19, 2015 - 3:47 AM University Park, PA ( - Sam Dekker scored 22 points, Frank Kaminsky had 16 points and nine rebounds and No. 5 Wisconsin held on to beat Penn State 55-47 Wednesday night.

Nigel Hayes added nine points and 13 rebounds for the Badgers (24-2, 12-1 Big Ten), who have won nine in a row.

D.J. Newbill had 29 points to lead the Nittany Lions (15-12, 3-11), who have lost three in a row.

The Badgers kept pace with the 2006-07 team for the best start in program history, but not without some tense moments down the stretch.

The Big Ten leaders were ahead by as much as 16 points in the second half and led 48-34 with under 6 1/2 minutes remaining before Penn State scored nine in a row to trim its deficit to five.

Newbill scored the first five points of the flurry, which was punctuated by Geno Thorpe's layup with 4:08 remaining. Kaminsky scored the next four points, however, and the Badgers never let it get that close again.

"We talked about the players in the scouting report and how hard Penn State has been playing," said Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan. "Each possession you are going to get guys playing hard, and that's what it was. We were hot early and at least able to get something going."

Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said the comeback that ultimately fell short was "a huge accomplishment" for his team.

"They had a huge lead and we didn't give up," he said. "We kept competing, we kept fighting ...

"It was just a little too late because what they do is they really grind you down and when they get a lead like 10 or 16 points, it's really like 20 or 30 points because they really melt the clock and can share the basketball."

The Badgers remained unbeaten since a shocking 67-62 upset at Rutgers on Jan. 11, when they were without Kaminsky because of a concussion and finished the game without Traevon Jackson, who remains out after suffering a fractured foot in the game.

Wisconsin shot just 39.2 percent for the game, including 44 percent in the first half for a 31-24 lead at the break. It made only five of their 22 3- point attempts.

Penn State shot 38.9 percent and was just 2-for-13 from beyond the arc.

Game Notes

It's Wisconsin's longest winning streak since an 11-game run on the way to a national championship in 1941 ... Wisconsin opened Big Ten play with an 89-72 win over Penn State on New Year's Eve in Madison and leads the all-time series 33-10 after seven consecutive victories. The Badgers have won four in a row and 10 of their last 11 in University Park ... Wisconsin hosts Minnesota on Saturday ... Penn State is at Northwestern on Saturday.