Despite scoring just 18 points and facing an 11-point deficit at the end of the first half, Patrick Chambers' gritty squad clawed back and nearly pulled off a road win to open Big Ten play in a 60-51 loss to Wisconsin.
The Nittany Lions (8-5, 0-1 Big Ten) erased the halftime deficit with the help of guards D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall halfway into the second 20 minutes.
Marshall, who finished with 19 points, hit a jumper with three minutes remaining in the game to cut the Badgers (10-4, 1-0 Big Ten) lead to one.
However, Badgers coach Bo Ryan called a timeout and settled his team before the Marshall jumper made the score 50-49 in favor of the home squad.
It seemed to have worked because the Badgers regained their focus and found versatile big man Jared Berggren around the rim.
With two powerful slams that also resulted in fouls, it's safe to say the 6-foot-10 senior made the Lions pay down the stretch.
Even though the close finish was probably fun for the casual fan, what caused the shifts in momentum was back and forth exchanges of crucial runs by both the Lions and Badgers.
In the first half, the Lions were up by four points, but Wisconsin strung together a controlling 19-2 run that gave them the double-digit lead at halftime.
On the flip side, with eight minutes remaining in the final 20 minutes Penn State utilized a 9-0 to get back into the game and cut the lead to just four.
And while Chambers' squad stuck around until the end at the Kohl Center, Wisconsin finished off the scrappy Lions with a 10-2 sequence to close the game.
While Marshall led all scorers, Newbill also had a solid game with 12 points, eight rebounds and an established sense of confidence with his mid-range jumper.
Lions forwards Brandon Taylor and Sasa Borovnjak also finished with eight points each.