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Tucker, Butch lift Wisconsin to 17th straight win

Jan 28, 2007 - 11:56 PM IOWA CITY, Iowa (Ticker) -- Alando Tucker and Brian Butch made sure Wisconsin did not trip up here like they did last season.

Tucker scored 27 points and Butch added 13 and 14 rebounds as the third-ranked Badgers re-established their mastery of Iowa on the road with a 57-46 Big Ten Conference victory.

Bouncing back from a 59-44 setback here in its regular-season finale last season, Wisconsin (21-1, 7-0 Big Ten) captured its seventh win in eight games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. In doing so, the Badgers eclipsed the school record for best start, established in 1915-16.

The Badgers also extended the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games and remained the lone unbeaten team in the Big Ten.

Snapping a streak of six straight games without a 20-point performance, Tucker shot 11-of-14 from the field and hit two 3-pointers.

It was a much better effort this time around for Tucker, who was held to 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting in his previous showing here.

The senior forward was perfect in the first half, scoring 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting. He netted 10 points in a 16-1 run that gave Wisconsin a 25-13 lead with 4:47 remaining before halftime.

The Hawkeyes (11-9, 3-3), who were unbeaten in eight home games, managed to cut that deficit before the break, going on a 9-1 spurt to trail, 26-22, at the break.

Butch helped the Badgers restore their cushion, scoring the first four points of the second half, and Tucker hit a jumper to make it 32-22 with 17:10 remaining.

Iowa managed to close within 45-41 with 7:40 to play, but Tucker hit jumpers to bookend an 8-0 run.

The preseason favorite to win the league's player of the year award, Tucker upstaged the Hawkeyes' Adam Haluska, the Big Ten's leading scorer.

The senior Haluska finished with 16 points despite shooting 3-of-18, falling just a clip below his scoring average of 20.3. He did convert 9-of-10 free throws.

Another top player that struggled for Iowa was freshman Tyler Smith, who ended up with just eight points on 3-of-17 from the field. The 6-7 forward was the Hawkeyes' second-leading scorer with 15.6 points.

Marcus Landry chipped in eight points and seven rebounds for Wisconsin, which overcame a 40-33 disadvantage on the boards by finishing 46.5 percent (20-of-43) from the field, including 7-of-19 on 3-pointers.

Cyrus Tate collected six points and 10 rebounds for Iowa, which shot 28 percent (16-of-57) in losing for the third time in its last four games.

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    WISCONSIN (3) 26 31 57
    IOWA 22 24 46 FINAL

    Jan 28 3:05 PM

    WISCONSIN (3) 26

    Jan 28 1:55 PM