Jan. 14, 2006
Box Score |
MADISON, Wis. - Vedran Vukusic once again led the Wildcats with 15 points and true freshman Craig Moore added 14, but in the end, turnovers and missed opportunities allowed No. 21 Wisconsin to pull away for a 68-52 win Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.
Alando Tucker had 20 points and seven rebounds for No. 21 Wisconsin as the Badgers remained the only unbeaten team in Big Ten play.
Northwestern (9-6, 2-2) came into the game with the stingiest defense in the conference and were averaging a league-low 11.7 turnovers a game.
But Wisconsin (14-2, 4-0) used a first-half flurry to build a double-digit lead, went on another run in the second half to put it away and forced Northwestern into 19 turnovers.
Both teams slogged through a sloppy first half until Wisconsin finally found its offense with 4 minutes left in the period. Up 21-18, the Badgers went on a 13-2 run. Tucker capped the spurt when he stole an inbounds pass under the Northwestern basket, drove the length of the court and scored in traffic to put the Badgers up 34-20.
They led 37-25 at halftime and Kammron Taylor hit a 3-pointer for Wisconsin to open the second half. The Wildcats got no closer than seven points the rest of the game.
Northwestern hung tough with the Badgers, staying within striking distance for most of the game and trailed by only nine, 56-47 with 8:03 left when Tim Doyle drove the left side of the lane for a layup.
But the Wildcats were unable to capitalize on their chances throughout because of the turnovers and poor shooting. They shot 35 percent for the game.
Taylor finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for the Badgers, while Ray Nixon added 13 points.
Wisconsin came into the game averaging just over 12 turnovers, but the Badgers committed eight in the first half. Northwestern's trapping defense and press slowed the Badgers early. The press often forced the ball into the hands of 6-foot-11 Brian Butch, and Wisconsin was unable to get into its offense smoothly.
Moore, who has been hot from the outside of late, hit 4-of-7 from behind the arc and now has hit 21 three's in his last six games.
The 'Cats are back in action at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, Jan. 18 at Michigan.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.