Final - OT
  for this game

Westbrook, Minnesota down nemesis Wisconsin

Jan 16, 2009 - 6:47 AM MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Lawrence Westbrook poured in a career-high 29 points and Paul Carter collected 10 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 17 Minnesota to a 78-74 overtime win over Wisconsin on Thursday.

Westbrook scored 22 of his points in the second half and overtime and forced the extra session with a 3-pointer at the end of the second. He shot 10-of-16 from the floor, 2-of-2 from beyond the arc and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.

"(Westbrook) was remarkable," Minnesota coach Tubby Smith said. "But he has that ability. He is a tough guy and wants the ball in his hands. Players know when they are in that zone and I'm glad he was tonight."

The junior guard scored five points as the Golden Gophers opened up overtime with a 7-0 run and capped the extra session with four free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the win.

Devron Bostick and Damian Johnson finished with 11 points apiece for Minnesota (16-1, 4-1 Big Ten), which is off to its best start in over 50 years.

"This is pretty big ... to get a win against the Badgers is a tremendous accomplishment for our team and our program," Smith said.

The Golden Gophers trailed, 52-40, with 4:53 left in the second half and did not even appear to have enough possessions remaining to make up the deficit with Wisconsin employing its four corners offense and running down the clock on each of its possessions.

But Minnesota, which had not won in Madison since 1994, went on a 22-10 run over the final 4:43 to force the extra session.

"I thought our comeback was nothing short of ... I don't know ... We made some clutch plays and that's what it takes to beat a team like Wisconsin," Smith said.

Westbrook's free throws with 44 seconds left cut the deficit to 60-56, and the Gophers denied the Badgers (12-5, 3-2) on two straight possessions before Johnson's 3-pointer cut it to 60-59 with 19 seconds left.

Joe Krabbenhoft was fouled and hit two free throws with 14 seconds left. Minnesota then worked the ball around the top of the key and Westbrook pump-faked and moved to the 3-point line on the left wing before drilling the game-tying shot.

"They had 20 points on their last 10 possessions to send the game into overtime," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "It came from their aggression, it came from our guys making some mistakes -- they are human."

Marcus Landry scored 18 points, Jason Bohannon added 16 and John Leuer finished with 15 for the Badgers, who hit just 5-of-24 3-point attempts.

"A loss like this always hurts," Landry said. "You come in and you're up 10 with about four minutes to go and you end up losing the game. These are the games that hurt. These are the games that stick with you. These are the games that you never want to happen again in the future. You don't want to have games like this again. It's really important that we take it to heart and learn."