College basketball: Balanced Wisconsin holds off Penn State

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan has tried free-throw games in practice, drills, you name it.

He has only one explanation left for the Badgers' struggles at the free throw line -- demons.

The Badgers overcame another poor night at the free-throw line to hold off Penn State 60-51 Thursday night in the Big Ten Conference opener for both teams, finally finding their shooting touch from the line over the final minute.

"It's a mental thing that has to be overcome," Ryan said. "I've said it before. I'm not changing my story."

Normally a strength for a Ryan-coached team, the Badgers came into the game shooting just less than 65 percent from the foul line and were 13 of 26 Thursday. But Mike Bruesewitz came through at the line in the clutch.

Wisconsin (10-4) led 29-18 at the break and was up 40-27 in the second half before Penn State (8-5) used a pair of runs to get close. The first narrowed a 13-point game to 40-36. The second, after Wisconsin went back up 49-40, pulled Penn State within 50-49.

But the Nittany Lions couldn't get over the hump. After Jared Berggren dunked and was fouled -- missing the free throw -- to put Wisconsin up 56-51, Bruesewitz hit four straight free throws sandwiched around an off-balance 3-point attempt by Penn State's Nick Colella to ice the game.

"We've got to get used to being in tight games," said Penn State coach Pat Chambers. "Look, it's great to come here and be in a tight game, OK? But we need to take the next step and earn the respect of the league. This would have been a great start, but unfortunately, we're going home with a loss."

Top 25

No. 2 MICHIGAN 94, NORTHWESTERN 66

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Trey Burke scored 23 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 21 and No. 2 Michigan pounded Northwestern 94-66 on Thursday night to remain unbeaten.

Off to their best start since they opened the 1985-86 season with 16 wins, the Wolverines (14-0, 1-0) had no trouble in the Big Ten opener.

Michigan shot 59.6 percent overall and made 13 of 22 3-point attempts. Burke shot 9 of 16 overall and hit 4 of 6 3-pointers. Hardaway was 6 of 8 from the field and 4 of 5 from long range.

Jared Swopshire and Kale Abrahamson each scored 11 points for Northwestern, which allowed the most points in a game this season.

No. 3 ARIZONA 92,

COLORADO 83, OT

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Kevin Parrom scored five of his 16 points in overtime after Arizona staged an improbable late rally in regulation and remained unbeaten.

Colorado's Sabatino Chen banked in a 3-pointer at the end of regulation but officials waved it off after reviewing the video, saying the ball was on his fingertips as the backboard lights went on to show time had expired.

Arizona (13-0, 1-0) outscored the Buffaloes 10-2 over the final 1:35 of regulation of their Pac-12 opener to force the overtime. The Buffaloes missed four of six free throws in that stretch.

No. 10 GONZAGA 78,

PEPPERDINE 62

MALIBU, Calif. -- Elias Harris scored 18 points and Kelly Olynk had 16 to lead 10 Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference opener for both teams.

Olynk scored 14 points in the second half as the Bulldogs (14-1, 1-0) won despite shooting a season-low 43.4 percent from the field. Reserve guard David Stockton added nine points and four steals and Kevin Pangos scored nine points.

Pangos gave Gonzaga the lead for good at 38-36 on a 3-pointer and the Bulldogs pulled away to their 23rd consecutive win against Pepperdine, its longest streak against a conference opponent.

Ohio college

WRIGHT STATE 64,

GREEN BAY 53

DAYTON -- Reggie Arceneaux scored 15 points and hit all eight free throw attempts to help Wright State pull away from Green Bay 64-53 Thursday night in the Horizon League opener for both teams.

Tavares Sledge posted 13 points and nine rebounds and Miles Dixon came off the bench for 11 points for Wright State (10-4), winners of five of their last six games.

Brennen Cougill led Green Bay with 17 points off the bench.

Other

OAKLAND 91,

NEBRASKA_OMAHA 79

ROCHESTER, Mich. -- Ryan Bass scored 20 points to lead all five starters in double figures, helping Oakland beat Nebraska-Omaha 91-79 Thursday night in the first-ever meeting between the schools.

Bass was 7 of 15 from the field for the Golden Grizzlies (7-9, 2-1 Summit League). Travis Bader, who entered leading the nation with 60 3-pointers, made five more and had 19 points. Duke Mondy added 18 points, nine assists and six steals, while Corey Petros chipped in 16 points and Drew Valentine had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

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