Friday , Nov , 24 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Wisconsin’s Ryan shoots for 500th win

Madison, WI (Sports Network) – The seventh-ranked Wisconsin Badgers
are
heavily favored in today’s game against the Missouri State Bears as
part
of the South Padre Invitational.

Missouri State has won its first three games of the season, but
today’s
contest marks a monumental leap in competition level. The Bears are
coming
off an 86-56 thrashing of Lincoln University on Tuesday night, and it
knocked
off Toledo and Delaware State early on.

Wisconsin has also played and beat Delaware State this season, as a
64-52
decision over the Hornets on Tuesday marks the most recent outing for
the
Badgers. It was also the 499th career victory for Wisconsin coach Bo
Ryan,
who will go for his 500th victory this afternoon. The Badgers are now 4-0
on
the young season and have yet to be tested, having knocked off such foes
as
Mercer and Southern. Ryan’s team is considered the favorite to win the Big
Ten
Conference by many fans and analysts on the strength of a talented
and
experienced lineup.

Missouri State has won the only previous meeting with Wisconsin by a score
of
43-32 in 1999.

Through three games, Missouri State is led in scoring by Blake Ahearn
as
expected. He is posting 15.7 ppg despite averaging a modest 25.3 minutes
of
action per contest. Nathan Bilyeu and Deven Mitchell are contributing 10.7
ppg
apiece, and Dale Lamberth rounds out the double-digit scorers with 10.3 ppg.
In
the recent win over Lincoln University, Bilyeu and Mitchell both scored
12
points apiece. The Bears were beating their Division II opponent by 13
points
at intermission and began the second half by scoring 14 unanswered points
to
put the game away. Missouri State scored 25 points off 18 Lincoln
turnovers.
Tyler Chaney and Shane Laurie contributed 10 points each in the win.

Wisconsin’s best player is Alando Tucker, and he is averaging 20.0 ppg on
53.4
percent shooting from the floor. Tucker is a poor free-throw shooter and
has
struggled from three-point range this season, so there are areas to
be
improved, but he may prove to be the player of the year in the Big Ten
this
season. Kammron Taylor adds 10.5 ppg for the Badgers, who are also
getting
10.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg from Brian Butch in only 18.8 minutes of action per
game.
In the closer-than-expected win over Delaware State last time out, Tucker
came
through with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Butch posted 18 points and
10
boards. As for Taylor, he was limited to four points. Wisconsin is
only
allowing 50.2 ppg on 37.5 percent shooting from the floor.

MISSOURIST WISCONSIN