Penn St.-Wisconsin Preview

The Associated Press

Wisconsin hasn't been nearly as effective at protecting its home court this season as in the recent past, but it's been 17 years since Penn State won in Madison.

The 15th-ranked Badgers will go for their 15th consecutive home win over the Nittany Lions in a Big Ten matchup Sunday.

Wisconsin (19-7, 8-5) played its last two games on the road, winning in overtime at Minnesota on Feb. 9 before falling 69-55 to No. 7 Michigan State on Thursday.

The Badgers shot a combined 34.9 percent in those games, and they've hardly been much better at home lately. They have hit 38.1 percent from the field in six conference games in Madison, going 3-3. Their four home losses this season are the program's most since going 8-8 in 1997-98.

Wisconsin has lost two of three overall after winning six straight, though the defeats came to top-10 teams Ohio State and Michigan State. All but one of the Badgers' seven losses this season were to ranked opponents.

They are shooting 23.0 percent from 3-point range in Big Ten home games and were no better Thursday in East Lansing, going 5 for 24. Leading scorer Jordan Taylor was 1 of 6 beyond the arc and shot 3 of 13 overall to finish with 13 points.

Wisconsin trailed the Spartans 31-19 at halftime and went on to allow its second-most points of the season while letting an opponent shoot better than 50 percent for the first time. The Badgers lead Division I in scoring defense, giving up 51.0 points per game, and are among the leaders in field-goal percentage defense (37.3).

"They got a couple baskets in transition - guys thought they were back but weren't," coach Bo Ryan said. "We gave up turnovers and long rebounds. That's not a position we normally put ourselves in."

Ryan's team held Penn State to its lowest point total of the season in a 52-46 road victory Jan. 31.

The Badgers have won 14 straight home games in this series since a loss Jan. 26, 1995, and they have never lost to the Nittany Lions (12-15, 4-10) at the Kohl Center.

Penn State is 1-9 in true road games, including blowout losses in four matchups with ranked Big Ten foes, but enters Sunday coming off home victories over Nebraska and Iowa. It hasn't won three consecutive Big Ten games since 2008-09.

The Nittany Lions held on for a 69-64 win Thursday after the Hawkeyes cut a 16-point deficit to three with 24 seconds left.

Tim Frazier, the Big Ten's second-leading scorer at 18.4 per game, had 14 of his 18 points in the second half.

"He came out to attack," said forward Jon Graham, who scored a season-high 10 points. "He was aggressive. He is going to make the right plays and that is why he is our leader. We never lose faith in each other in all of this. We have the utmost confidence in each other."

Frazier scored 21 against the Badgers last month but shot 8 of 22.

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