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    Wildcats Edged By No. 3 Badgers, 56-50

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Tim Doyle shoots over Wisconsin's Joe Krabbenhoft during first half.
    Tim Doyle shoots over Wisconsin's Joe Krabbenhoft during first half.

    Jan. 13, 2007

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Freshman Jeff Ryan, filling in for leading scorer Kevin Coble who was out with an ankle injury, scored a game-high 18 points, but it was not enough as third-ranked Wisconsin came from behind to edge Northwestern, 56-50, Saturday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Alando Tucker scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half as the Badgers won their 13th consecutive game.

    Ryan hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 52 seconds left to cut Wisconsin's lead to 52-50, but Kammron Taylor and Tucker each hit two free throws for the Badgers to clinch the win.

    Tucker, the Big Ten's second-leading scorer, finished 5-of-12 after shooting just 1-of-5 in the first half. He hit a 3-pointer that made it a four-point game with 5:19 remaining, and his acrobatic drive along the baseline made it 50-44 with 3 minutes left.

    Taylor was 3-for-12 and finished with 12 points after scoring a season-high 25 in Tuesday's 72-69 win over fifth-ranked Ohio State. Brian Butch added nine points and seven rebounds, and Marcus Landry scored eight and grabbed seven rebounds for Wisconsin (17-1, 3-0 Big Ten).

    After jumping out to a 7-2 lead to open the game, Northwestern found itself down six, 24-18, with 1:15 remaining in the half. But an 8-0 to close the half gave NU the 26-24 lead at the half. Ryan started the run with a layup before Tim Doyle and Ryan came up with back-to-back steals and layups on two straight Wisconsin possessions to tie the game. After Ryan missed his free throw attempt, Sterling Williams came up with the rebound which set up Doyle's jumper with nine seconds left.

    In the second half NU built its lead to as much as five, 36-31, five minutes into the period. But the Wildcats hit a drought, converting just one field goal over the next seven minutes as Wisconsin went on a 8-2 run to take a one-point lead. Then, behind 15 second half points from Tucker, the Badgers made 8-of-10 FT's in the final four minutes to ice the win.



    Doyle finished with 11 points and contributed with eight assists and four steals. He played all 40 minutes.

    The Wildcats' last win over a top-five team was on Jan. 27, 1979, against No. 4 Michigan State. They will take on another top-five team in No. 5 Ohio State next Wednesday in Columbus.

    (The Associated Press contributed to this story)