Badgers hold off Wildcats
Evanston, IL (Sports Network) – Alando Tucker scored 17 points, with 15 coming
in the second half, and also pulled down eight rebounds as the third-ranked
Wisconsin Badgers snuck past Northwestern, 56-50, at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Kammron Taylor netted 12 points for the Badgers (17-1, 3-0 Big Ten), who are
on a 13-game win streak, their best start in school history. Brian Butch
contributed nine points and seven boards, while Marcus Landry added eight
points in the contest.
Jeff Ryan had a team-high 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting for the Wildcats
(10-7, 0-4), who have lost four straight contests, all in conference play. Tim
Doyle donated 11 points, while Sterling Williams and Vince Scott each had
eight points in a losing effort.
The game was close through the second half, as Northwestern held a slim 38-37
edge with 10:21 remaining.
The lead then changed hands five times over the next three minutes before
Wisconsin opened up a 46-42 lead on Tucker’s trey with 5:11 left in the game.
The see-saw battle continued before the Wildcats made a final push, getting
within two, 52-50, on Ryan’s three-point shot with 51 ticks left. Taylor and
Tucker each hit a pair from the charity stripe to clinch the win for
Northwestern made 38 percent of its shots in the game, while Wisconsin
finished at 44 percent.
“Alando was finding the seams a little better,” said Wisconsin head coach Bo
Ryan. “You can practice what a Northwestern does, what any team does, but a
team and the reads are always going to be a little different. I know teams
practice against our offense and our man-to-man defense, but until you face it
with people that are used to going at the pace, the defense sets the pace. In
the first half Alando was a step behind on his reads of open areas, cuts, and
short corners. He finally figured out separation and gaps. Those are things
you can talk about, but until the defense gets out there and does what they
do, it’s a chess match and you have to be ready to counter.”
Northwestern grabbed an early 7-2 lead, then held off the Badgers in the
opening minutes with a balanced offensive attack.
A three-point play by Brian gave Wisconsin its first lead of the contest,
14-13, with 9:14 to play in the first half. A back-and-forth battle
followed, with the Badgers eventually holding a 24-18 edge with three minutes
remaining before the break.
The Wildcats then closed out the half on an 8-0 run. Ryan’s layup started the
spurt at 1:15, then Doyle capitalized on a turnover by Jason Bohannon at the
other end, going the length of the floor and finishing with a running layup to
make it 24-22.
Another crucial turnover by the Taylor resulted in another layup by Ryan to
tie things up, and Northwestern closed out the half leading 26-24 as Doyle’s
short jumper fell through with nine ticks remaining.
“Going into the game we hadn’t played very well lately,” said Northwestern
head coach Bill Carmody. “That was the focus, not so much on Wisconsin, but
more about us to see if we could, not necessarily play up to potential, but
get better. I thought we did that this afternoon.”
Wisconsin won the battle of the boards, 37-22…Tucker, who ranks second in
the Big Ten in scoring, surpassed Danny Jones for second place on UW’s all-
time scoring list. He’s scored 1,858 points in 108 career starts…The
Wildcats’ last win over a top-five team was on January 27, 1979, against No. 4