Wednesday , Dec , 27 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Badgers and Bulldogs meet up in Madison

Madison, WI (Sports Network) – The Wisconsin Badgers have climbed to the
fourth position in the latest AP poll, and they welcome the Gardner-Webb
Bulldogs to Madison for tonight’s non-conference matchup.

Gardner-Webb began the season with five straight losses for the first
time in 36 seasons, and the fact that the club owns a 2-8 overall record
suggests that there has not been a major turnaround. The last two outings
have resulted in defeat, including a 92-60 thrashing at Wake Forest on
December 19th, the most recent outing for the club. All eight losses have
come by double figures.

Wisconsin is 12-1 overall and has won eight straight games since its
lone defeat, a two-point setback to Missouri State on a neutral court. Ten
of the 12 wins have come by double figures, including an 83-47 romp over
Pacific on December 23rd. Less than two weeks ago, Wisconsin knocked off
then second-ranked Pittsburgh, the highlight of the season thus far.

This game marks the first-ever meeting between Gardner-Webb and Wisconsin on
the hardwood.

Gardner-Webb has not played particularly well at either end of the floor
this season. The team is only scoring 65.0 ppg on 40.1 percent shooting
from the field, and it is limiting its opponents to 82.4 ppg on 49.6
percent overall efficiency. A major problem for the Bulldogs has been free
throw shooting, as they have connected on only 58 percent of their
attempts from the charity stripe. Also, the fact that they have been
outrebounded by more than eight boards per game hasn’t exactly helped
matters. Chris Gash leads Gardner-Webb with a modest average of 12.1 ppg,
and Ricky McPhee is the only other double-digit scorer with 11.5 ppg.
Against Wake Forest, the Bulldogs were outscored 18-0 during one stretch in
the first half and were unable to recover. They shot 36.5 percent from the
floor in the game and permitted Wake to shoot 66.7 percent from the
field. McPhee scored 12 points to lead the way in the ugly defeat.

Those who follow college basketball know that Alando Tucker is one of
the premier players in the nation. The Wisconsin standout is currently
averaging 20.7 ppg on 51.6 percent shooting from the floor. Kammron Taylor
adds 12.4 ppg to the lineup, and Brian Butch checks in with 11.1 ppg and 6.4
rpg. The Badgers are netting a solid 76.9 ppg on 48.8 percent shooting from
the floor, and they are limiting opponents to 59.6 ppg on 40.9 percent
efficiency from the field. Wisconsin is pulling down eight rebounds per game
more than its foes, a major reason for the stellar overall record. In the
blowout victory over Pacific last time out, Taylor paced Wisconsin with 17
points on the strength of a 3-of-4 effort from three-point range. Tucker
finished with 15 points, and Butch tallied 11 points. The Badgers shot
52.2 percent from the floor, including 9-of-17 from three-point range, and
they were 26-of-32 from the foul line as well. A 40-21 rebounding
advantage helped matters, as did the fact that they limited the Tigers to
35.3 percent overall shooting.