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Tucker, Butch shine as Wisconsin fends off Delaware State

Nov 22, 2006 - 3:07 AM MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Alando Tucker and Brian Butch allowed Wisconsin to swat away the pesky Hornets.

Tucker scored 25 points and Butch added 18 - both season highs - as the seventh-ranked Badgers posted a 64-52 triumph against Delaware State in the South Padre Island Invitational.

Wisconsin (4-0) had won its first three games by an average of 31.3 points, but Tuesday's contest was more of a battle. The Badgers only held a 33-27 lead at halftime and needed big games from their best two players to hold off the Hornets.

Tucker made 10-of-16 shots and scored 10 straight points for the Badgers at one stage of the second half. He scored 18 points after the intermission and reached the 25-point plateau for the first time in 10 games, dating to last season.

"(Tucker) made some big shots and that really got them going," Delaware State coach Greg Jackson said. "If you take his point production away, it's a different ballgame."

Butch also grabbed 10 rebounds to finish with his fourth career double-double. The junior connected on 7-of-12 attempts to lead a 53 percent (26-of-49) shooting charge by Wisconsin, which also held a 29-16 rebounding advantage.

"(Butch's) stamina was great," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "I mentioned that before on the hill, what I liked about how we looked this year. ... He seemed to be the guy who they had a hard time keeping from catching it and making something happen on the offensive end. ... Brian played a whale of a game."

Jahsha Bluntt and Roy Bright scored 18 points apiece for Delaware State (1-4), which shot 47 percent (17-of-36) from the floor and got no points from its reserves.

The Hornets were playing the final game in a grueling stretch that included matchups with Pittsburgh, North Carolina State and Missouri State.

"I thought we came in here and played an extremely tough team," Jackson said. "This team is ranked No. 7 in the country and they're going to cause a lot of teams a lot of problems."

Wisconsin will face Missouri State on Friday, while Delaware State takes on Southern later that night.

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