for this game

Wisconsin bounces back with win over Northwestern

Feb 3, 2007 - 10:35 PM MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Coming off his first loss in more than two months, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was looking for a more sustained effort. But this one did the job.

Alando Tucker scored 13 of his 20 points in a decisive first half as second-ranked Wisconsin got back on track with a 69-52 Big Ten Conference victory over Northwestern.

Kammron Taylor added 15 points and Michael Flowers 12 for the Badgers (22-2, 8-1 Big Ten), which had a 17-game winning streak snapped by Wednesday's 71-66 loss at Indiana. Wisconsin maintained its dominance at home with its 19th straight win at the Kohl Center.

"It wasn't like they had a collapse or anything," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. "Maybe it gave them more fire in practice, but I didn't think they played that badly against a pretty good team (Indiana)."

It was not a complete effort by the Badgers. With Tucker on the bench, they allowed a 24-point second-half lead to dwindle to 62-52 with just over three minutes remaining. But the Wildcats (11-11, 1-8) went cold and did not score thereafter.

"Sometimes defensively you do certain things to guys if it's a two-possession game than you do if it's a 10-possession game or an eight-possession game," Ryan said. "I thought we did a much better job the last 3 1/2 minutes of taking away certain looks that we did on one stretch where they got 12 points on five possessions."

The loss to Indiana was Wisconsin's first since a setback to Missouri State at the South Padre Invitational on November 24. They shook it off quickly, racing to an 11-4 lead behind six points from Tucker.

Solid guard play and a parade to the foul line allowed Wisconsin to build the lead to 33-19 at halftime. Taylor and Flowers combined for 10 points and five assists, and the Badgers made 12-of-14 free throws.

"They were a settling factor for the other guys," Ryan said. "They didn't jump up in the air and make bad passes. They weren't throwing long lobs that could be intercepted. Their angles were pretty good. They looked pretty efficient on offense."

Flowers and Tucker sank consecutive 3-pointers to push the margin to 43-23. Wisconsin opened its largest lead at 62-38 on a layup by Greg Stiemsma with 8:53 to play before Northwestern rallied behind Kevin Coble, who scored five points in a 12-0 spurt.

"They're well-schooled, well-coached and drilled at what they want to do and you have to take that away," Ryan said.

Tucker grabbed nine rebounds for Wisconsin, which shot 46 percent (23-of-50) from the field, held a 37-21 advantage on the glass and committed just five fouls.

Coble scored 24 points for Northwestern, which shot 44 percent (23-of-52) but attempted just two free throws.

The Wildcats were swept in the season series and have lost seven of the last nine meetings.

    --- --- -----
    NORTHWESTERN 19 33 52
    WISCONSIN (2) 33 36 69 FINAL

    Feb 3 3:50 PM


    Feb 3 2:50 PM