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Hughes, defense helps Wisconsin cruise past Minnesota

Feb 3, 2008 - 10:44 PM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Wisconsin's defense and hot-shooting first half proved to be too much for Minnesota to handle.

Trevon Hughes had 20 points and six steals and Marcus Landry added 11 points as No. 13 Wisconsin cruised to a 63-47 victory over the Golden Gophers in Big Ten action on Sunday.

Brian Butch also scored 11 points for the Badgers, who came into the game ranked second in the nation in points allowed at 54.5 per game.

Wisconsin (18-3, 8-1 Big Ten) held No. 11 Indiana to a season-low 49 points in a victory on Thursday, and became the first opponent to keep the Golden Gophers below 50 this season.

"I thought the team played well and they did a good job of playing together," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "We hit some shots and they didn't, and it helped us out in the long run."

Wisconsin converted 18 turnovers into 24 points en route to its 12th win in their last 13 visits to Minnesota.

"We're not a half-court offense team," Minnesota coach Tubby Smith said. "We've got guys doing good things for us but we have to get better play than we have. We knew it would be a tough game. I thought at home we would play better than we did, and that was disappointing."

The Badgers led from start to finish as Landry scored seven early points, helping Wisconsin jump out to a 9-2 lead four minutes into the game.

The Badgers extended their lead to 29-10 after Jason Bohannon made a 3-pointer to cap a 15-2 burst with 8:59 left in the half.

The Golden Gophers pulled within 31-21, but Wisconsin continued its strong shooting first half and built the lead back up to 39-23 at the break.

The Badgers shot 58 percent (15-of-26) from the field in the opening 20 minutes.

Wisconsin put away the game early in the second half, opening with an 8-2 run to take its largest lead of the game at 47-25 with 13:42 to play. Minnesota got no closer than 14 thereafter.

"We got beat in toughness categories," Smith said. "It came down to second shots, screens, going to the basket - all things we didn't do in the second half."

Lawrence Westbrook had 11 points and Damian Johnson added 10 and five blocks for the Golden Gophers (13-7, 3-5), who shot just 36 percent (18-of-50) from the field.

It was the third straight home loss for Minnesota, which began the season 9-0 at Williams Arena.