Big Ten Clash

After having one of the best games of his career, Wisconsin leading scorer Trevon Hughes hopes he has shaken off the remnants of his recent slump.

Hughes and the No. 17 Badgers look for their eighth straight win Tuesday when they visit Penn State.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Wisconsin –4.5 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 92% of bets for this game have been placed on Wisconsin –4.5 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

Wisconsin (13-2, 3-0 Big Ten) has been idle since a 70-60 home win over Illinois on Thursday. Hughes scored 22 points and Brian Butch added 16 points and seven rebounds in the victory - Wisconsin's seventh straight since an 81-76 loss Dec. 8 to then-No.11 Marquette.

Illinois pulled within three points with less than 10 minutes remaining, but the Badgers went on a 16-5 run to put the game out of reach.

"We answered, we were resilient, we made plays when we had to," coach Bo Ryan said. "That's a game that's going to be very typical in the Big Ten."

Hughes was 8-for-13 from the field, including three made 3-pointers. He also tied a career-high with five assists and six steals.

The sophomore guard, who broke into the starting lineup this season after averaging 1.4 points in limited minutes as a freshman, leads the Badgers with 14.2 points per game.

He had been struggling recently, however, slowed by an ankle injury he suffered in practice. Hughes missed Wisconsin's win at then-No. 9 Texas on Dec. 29, then was held to a combined 11 points and five assists over the following two games. He said he broke out of his slump Thursday by not pressing too hard.

"I just slowed it down a notch," he said.

Hughes isn't the only Wisconsin player making big strides from last season. Butch, who averaged 8.8 points and 5.9 rebounds in 30 games as a junior last season, is averaging 13.9 points and 7.7 rebounds as a senior.

"If you tend to hang around something long enough and you've got the right mental attitude, you're going to get better," Ryan said of Butch. "And things that maybe are coming to him now are things that came through a process."

In addition to their overall win streak, the Badgers are looking to extend a six-game winning streak against Penn State (10-5, 2-1).

The Nittany Lions had won seven in a row overall, before falling 76-73 at home to Minnesota on Saturday despite shooting 50 percent from the field and holding a 38-25 rebounding edge. Talor Battle and Geary Claxton scored 19 points each and Danny Morrissey added 16 in the loss - the first for Penn State in nine home games.

"This is a great league and a very unforgiving league," coach Ed DeChellis said. "If you relax, this is what happens to you."

Wisconsin holds a 19-8 lead in the all-time series against Penn State, including a 7-6 edge at University Park. The Badgers have won six straight against the Nittany Lions.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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