for this game

Tucker too much down stretch as Wisconsin edges Marquette

Dec 9, 2006 - 9:57 PM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Alando Tucker personally made sure that Wisconsin broke the trend.

Tucker scored 15 of his 28 points in the second half to lift the 12th-ranked Badgers to a 70-66 victory over Marquette in a matchup of heated intrastate rivals.

Although Wisconsin (9-1) had won six of the previous eight meetings in the series, the home team had captured each of the last five.

In their first true road game of the season in front of a record crowd of 19,020, the Badgers handed the Golden Eagles (8-2) their second loss in three games behind Tucker, who finished 13-of-22 from the field.

"To be our first true road game and play a ranked opponent, they played great and so did we," Tucker said. "That is one of the things that shows a sign to me that Wisconsin is maturing as a program, to fight through adversity."

Falling behind, 41-31, on a jumper by Kammron Taylor with 14:58 remaining, Marquette managed to cut the deficit to 47-40 after a three-point play by Dominic James just over five minutes later.

Looking to jump-start a rally, the Golden Eagles went into a full-court press that the Badgers quickly broke behind a two-handed slam dunk by Tucker.

"They are a great passing team," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "I think at the end of the day, from top to bottom, that is the greatest skill they have collectively."

Despite the setback, Marquette bounced back, managing to slice the deficit to 62-58 on a steal and a dunk by Jerel McNeal with 1:43 left. However, Tucker answered right back with a baseline layup moments later.

"We were never able to get that big surge and run that we are used to getting," Marquette guard Wesley Matthews said. "They made some big shots down the stretch. When we started to build a run, they knocked it back down."

The senior forward added another layup in traffic to make it 66-59 with 62 seconds left.

"In these situations, the final minutes of a game, this is something I love," Tucker said. "The guys are going to look to me in situations like this. Games that come down to the final minutes, players are going to look for me and Kammron for leadership."

Although Wisconsin finished just 9-of-18 from the line, it made 4-of-6 attempts in the closing 36 seconds to seal the win.

Taylor scored 13 points and Marcus Landry added 11 and four blocks for the Badgers, who shot 51 percent (29-of-57) to overcome 22 turnovers.

The battle between state rivals proved very big for the sophomore Landry, who is married to a member of the Marquette women's basketball team.

James finished with 19 points and McNeal 16 for the Golden Eagles, who shot 39 percent (26-of-66) from the field and were outrebounded, 40-34.

"We did not execute on either end of the floor," Crean said. "They executed and we did not. Our execution was off and they played good. The fortunate thing is that we all have a bunch of big games to keep getting ready for. Everyone played hard. If it wasn't such a big deal, it wouldn't hurt so hard."