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Butch helps Wisconsin steamroll Gardner-Webb

Dec 28, 2006 - 6:04 AM MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Another fast start allowed Wisconsin to have an easy finish.

Brian Butch scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead No. 4 Wisconsin to its ninth straight victory, a 98-40 drubbing of Gardner-Webb.

The Badgers are off to a 13-1 start for the first time since 1928-29 and set a school record for margin of victory, surpassing the previous high of 55 points.

That's great for our guys," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said of his team's impressive record. "They've worked hard. It's a reflection of that. But you know me and the team. They'll tell you that we have to go to Georgia in a few days. It'll be about the next game. ... But I'm proud to be associated with a group that's done that, extremely proud."

The Badgers have trailed for less than 11 minutes in their last nine contests and improved to 83-5 at the Kohl Center under Ryan.

The pattern continued as Wisconsin (13-1) bolted to a 7-0 lead and, after Gardner-Webb pulled within 9-8, ran off 14 straight points for a 23-8 advantage with 8:20 left in the half.

The Badgers later went on a 10-0 spurt to extend the lead to 23 points, and a pair of late 3-pointers by Butch sandwiched around one by Kammron Taylor ballooned the margin to 52-19 at halftime.

"We tried to do the same thing for 40 minutes," Ryan said. "The group that was in there at the end was trying to do the same stuff as the group that started. Basketball is just that type of game. It's a game of runs."

The last time Wisconsin led by 33 points at halftime was against New Hampshire on December 11, 2002.

"There's not a lot to say except that it was a pretty dominating exhibition by Wisconsin," Gardner-Webb coach Rick Scruggs said. "We've seen two top-five teams now and I tell you, I'd love to see North Carolina and Wisconsin play. ... Wisconsin's got a chance to be special."

Taylor scored 13 points and Alando Tucker 11 for Wisconsin, which shot a blistering 59 percent (35-of-59) from the field - including 12-of-19 from the arc.

"They took care of the ball," Ryan said. "In a game like that, sometimes teams get sloppy with the ball, but I thought our guys did a great job of just staying to the task, spreading the floor and moving it. That's why we shot such a high percentage."

Ricky McPhee led Gardner-Webb (2-9) with 17 points and made 4-of-8 3-pointers.

    --- --- -----
    GARDNER-WEBB 19 21 40
    WISCONSIN (4) 52 46 98 FINAL

    Dec 27 9:46 PM


    Dec 27 8:45 PM