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Tucker, Wisconsin rip Minnesota

Jan 7, 2007 - 1:13 AM MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Alando Tucker and Wisconsin made it a rough visit to the Kohl Center for Minnesota.

Tucker scored 14 points as fourth-ranked Wisconsin cruised to a suffocating 68-45 Big Ten Conference victory over Minnesota.

With their best player leading the way, the Badgers (15-1, 1-0) extended their winning streak to 11 games while also continuing their success at home in conference play.

The Badgers have won 39 of their last 41 Big Ten games at home. They are 84-5 at the Kohl Center against conference foes under coach Bo Ryan.

Tucker scored 10 points in the first half, when the Badgers raced to a 37-20 lead. Wisconsin used a 23-5 surge to close the period.

"You start slow because the other team scores more points than you do, and then it's 'that's a slow start,'" Ryan said. "When you score you make a surge as it's described. What's the difference? Maybe better looks, finishing."

To open the second half, the Badgers held the Golden Gophers (7-9, 1-1) scoreless for more than six minutes.

Kammron Taylor added 13 points for Wisconsin, which recorded its sixth straight double-digit victory.

Wisconsin shot 43 percent (24-of-56) and held a 40-33 rebounding advantage.

Taylor fed Tucker for an alley-oop dunk with 9:14 remaining in the first half to give the Badgers the lead for good at 16-15. The senior, who entered averaging more than 20 points per game to pace the Badgers, made just 6-of-17 shots.

Dan Coleman scored 15 points to pace Minnesota, which was denied its first three-game winning streak of the season.

The Golden Gophers shot just 35 percent (17-of-49) in their worst offensive showing of the season.

"I'm sure it's going to struggle at times, but Wisconsin is an excellent defensive team," Minnesota interim coach Jim Molinari said. "Whenever you see every shot taken by the player with his weight on his outside foot, going away from the basket, which all of our players were doing and not finishing, I think that was an issue."

    --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 20 25 45
    WISCONSIN (4) 37 31 68 FINAL

    Jan 6 6:30 PM


    Jan 6 5:26 PM