INDIANAPOLIS — Aleem Ford scored 17 points and No. 6 seed Wisconsin made a stop on the last play to escape with a 75-74 win over No. 11 seed Penn State in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night.
The Badgers (17-11) led by 18 in the final eight minutes and were up 73-57 with five minutes to go.
The Nittany Lions (11-14) ended the game on a 17-2 run with Sam Sessoms scoring 13 of his 18 points during the final seven minutes to spark the rally. Penn State forced a pair of stops in the final minute and took possession on John Harrar’s rebound, down one with 18 seconds to go. Sessoms drove into the lane and Wisconsin’s Nate Reuvers deflected his attempted pass. Brad Davison grabbed the loose ball and called a timeout with 0.3 seconds remaining to essentially secure the win.
Wisconsin advanced to the quarterfinals to face No. 5 and third-seeded Iowa on Friday.
Wisconsin lost five of its final six games of the regular season, all against ranked opponents and twice to the Hawkeyes, including a 77-73 loss on the road in the regular season finale.
The Badgers engineered the first reversal of the game, erasing an eight-point deficit with a 23-5 run during the last 6:35 of the first half and taking a 41-31 lead Ford’s corner 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.
Ford made 6 of 7 shots, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Davison added 15 points and Jonathan Davis scored 10. Wisconsin was 12 of 23 from 3-point range.
Myreon Jones had 11 points and Jamari Wheeler scored 10 for Penn State, which came into the game with a 16-point comeback against Maryland to finish the regular season and a 15-point comeback against Nebraska in the first round of the tournament.