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Updated: Sunday, December 28, 2003 12:30 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(15) Wisconsin 71, Ohio 48

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Alando Tucker and Wisconsin showed how good they are at full strength.

Tucker scored a season-high 22 points as the 15th-ranked Badgers won their fifth straight, 71-48 over Ohio at the Rock-N-Roll Shootout at Gund Arena.

Wisconsin (8-1) got 13 points from Tucker in the first half as it built a 39-26 advantage. The 6-5 forward missed the first five games with a broken foot but turned in a 17-point performance in his first start a week ago against Marquette.

"We're a lot stronger," Wisconsin guard Devin Harris said. "It gives us another threat on offense as well as quickness on defense."

The Badgers were playing in Cleveland for only the second time. They posted a 31-24 victory over Syracuse on January 3, 1927.

Freddie Owens' 3-pointer opened an early 9-1 run as Wisconsin never trailed and was never threatened. Freshman Zach Morley fed Mike Wilkinson for a layup and a 24-10 advantage nearly nine minutes into the contest.

"Take a look at the size and we definitely had the advantage," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "(But) there's people that walked away from games that had the advantage and didn't get it done. We had the advantage and got it done."

The Bobcats (3-7) pulled within 53-42 on a jumper by Thomas Stephens with just under eight minutes left. Harris made two foul shots to a 7-0 burst that opened an 18-point cushion.

Morley, a reserve, and Harris each netted 14 points and Wilkinson chipped in 10 and nine boards. The Badgers had 20 assists on 22 baskets and held a 39-26 edge on the glass.

"It was a very ugly game," Harris said. "We had a lot of turnovers (13), more than we should have, but we outrebounded them and got a lot of stuff in transition and inside, which we wanted to do."

Harris came up with half of Wisconsin's eight steals to spearhead a strong defensive effort. Ohio shot just 38 percent (18-of-47), the fourth team to fail to reach the 40 percent mark against Wisconsin.

"The bottom line is Wisconsin is a much better program than Ohio right now," Bobcats coach Tim O'Shea said.

Ohio has lost the last seven meetings with Wisconsin. Stephens was the only Bobcat in double figures with 13 points.


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