Green Bay with envy
No. 23 Badgers close out Wisconsin-Green Bay with late-game run
Posted: Thursday December 11, 2003 12:04AM; Updated: Thursday December 11, 2003 12:53AM
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin struggled from the free throw line Wednesday night. Just getting there proved to be enough for the Badgers.
"The ball didn't go down," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said after the 23rd-ranked Badgers missed 12 of their first 20 free throw tries before going 6-of-7 down the stretch to seal a 73-57 victory over Wisconsin-Green Bay.
"Sometimes it gets contagious, too. I like the fact that we got there though."
Devin Harris scored 18 points and Freddie Owens added 16 and Wisconsin (5-1) ended the game on a 15-5 run to win its 17th straight at home.
Mike Wilkinson added 12 points and Zach Morley had 10 rebounds as the Badgers improved to 10-0 all-time against the Phoenix (2-4).
Brandon Morris scored 11 points to lead Green Bay, which shot 55 percent from the field but attempted just nine free throws compared to 27 by the Badgers, who made 14.
It marked the fifth time in six games this season Wisconsin has made more free throws than its opponent attempted.
"I think the biggest key for (the Badgers) is they get fouled and they don't foul," Phoenix coach Tod Kowalczyk said. "They win basketball games at the foul line."
Green Bay, which never led and trailed 40-25 at halftime, pulled within 58-52 on Mike King's basket with 6:46 left.
But Harris made two free throws and Morley scored underneath to restore Wisconsin's double-digit lead.
Green Bay never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
The Badgers welcomed the return of Alando Tucker, who played Wednesday after missing the first five games of the season while recovering from a broken foot.
Tucker, who started 27 games last season as a freshman, scored five points in 12 minutes.
Ryan said his team, which was at full strength for the first time this season, appeared to be fresh down the stretch.
"At the end there, finishing so strong in the last few minutes, it probably helped us the last two days to have 15 guys practicing," said Ryan, who added it was important for the Badgers "to be able to get some minutes off the bench from some guys."
Harris, who leads the Badgers in scoring and assists, sat out the last 11:55 of the first half after picking up his second foul.
Wisconsin led 17-10 when Harris left the game, and that lead never dipped below six the rest of the half as the Badgers found other ways to score.
Leading the way was Owens, who scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, and Boo Wade, who moved to point guard in Harris' absence and had four assists in the first half.
"We just kept playing," Ryan said of his team's reaction to Harris getting in foul trouble. "I felt Boo did a good job, especially on shot-clock situations. When the shot clock was getting down, he attacked the rim. He finished strong to the basket, that's what I liked about it."