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Taylor lifts Wisconsin past Florida International

Dec 2, 2006 - 9:17 PM MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Kammron Taylor had his shooting touch.

Taylor used some hot shooting from the outside to score 16 points and lead No. 13 Wisconsin to a 79-63 victory over Florida International in the first meeting between the schools.

Alando Tucker and Joe Krabbenhoft added 10 points apiece for Wisconsin (7-1), which was sluggish early before taking control with a 20-5 first-half run.

Taylor was at his best to start the second half, when he made three 3-pointers in a 17-2 run that pushed the Badgers' lead to 55-31. The senior guard made 5-of-8 shots from the field, including all four of his attempts from the arc.

"I'd like to say there is some kind of strategy for those runs," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "You just try to limit their runs, and if you're on a run you just try to keep it going. It's not like we write a script. You just have to try hard on every possession."

Johwen Villegas scored 24 points and Dejon Prejean 11 for Florida International (3-5), which was playing a ranked team for the first time this season.

After arriving in Madison early Saturday morning due to inclement weather, the Panthers grabbed a 9-5 lead three minutes into the contest. But it was all downhill from there.

"We went to the airport, and as soon as we got to the gate, they said that flights were canceled," Florida International coach Sergio Ruoco said. "Still, we knew it was our responsibility to get here, and we got a direct flight to Minneapolis. We got to Minneapolis and there were no bags. We eventually got a bus and got here at 5:45 a.m., and put the team in a hotel."

Taylor drilled a 3-pointer to trigger a 16-2 surge that put the Badgers ahead by double digits. They led by at least nine points thereafter.

Tucker, the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year, converted two free throws with 5:16 left in the first half to push the advantage to 33-17. Averaging more than 20 points over his seven games, Tucker attempted just six shots.

The efficient Badgers shot 53.5 percent (23-of-43) and made 24-of-30 free throws. Wisconsin had 18 assists on its 23 baskets.

"The guys were patient. A lot of those passes led to fouls and you don't get any assists for that," Ryan said.

The Panthers shot just 38 percent (21-of-55) and went 11-of-13 from the line.

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