MADISON, Wis. - It was not easy for the Wisconsin men's basketball team, but when it was all said and done, it had defeated a stingy Ohio State team who had been playing great basketball Saturday night. The UW win extended its current winning streak to four games and also enhanced the likelihood it will be dancing come March.
Before the Badgers prepare for their upcoming road trip, BadgerBlitz.com takes a look back at the good, bad and ugly from Saturday's win against the Buckeyes.
Making plays down the stretch and finishing the game:
When Wisconsin was busy losing six straight games, one of the constant themes was its inability to connect the finishing punch. In every game, except at Purdue to start the losing streak, the Badgers held a lead late but were unable to finish.
Finally, after Joe Krabbenhoft sunk a three-point shot with just over two minutes to play that gave UW a lead, the Badgers were able to hang on for a much needed 55-50 win.
In total, UW forced 19 Ohio State turnovers, six coming from Evan Turner, and was able to connect on free throws down the stretch to claim victory.
"Sometimes it's out of necessity and (tonight) it was a necessity," UW head coach Bo Ryan said after the game in reference to UW's playmaking ability. "We needed to hit some shots to change what they were doing defensively. And by not doing that they were able to match pretty well on some things that we were doing."
Without the play of Marcus Landry (especially in the first half) and Krabbenhoft, the Badgers would not have come out on the winning end of Saturday's game. It is that simple.
Landry finished with a team high 17 points, 12 of which came in the first half, and also added seven rebounds and an assist. Meanwhile, Krabbenhoft finished one of the more complete games of his career with nine points, eight rebounds, six steals and four assists.
"They did a very good job tonight," Ryan said. "Whether they're seniors, freshmen, red shirts, they played well. They brought the energy and they gave us some really good things. But I wouldn't wait to be a senior to do that.
"I don't say to people that they have to do it as seniors. I've never put that kind of pressure on a young man. I want all the guys to perform at the highest level at all times."
Jason Bohannon's defense[/db]
Entering Saturday's game, Ohio State guard Jon Diebler was one of the Big Ten's most effective perimeter players. He shot better than 45 percent from beyond the arc in league games and averaged 11 points per contest.
Against Wisconsin, however, Diebler only managed to fire four shots, his first coming seven minutes into the second half, during the entire outset of the game. His lack of opportunities can be directly attributed to the way Bohannon chased Diebler, who played all 40 minutes, and limited his touches.
"He's put a lot on his shoulders to help us out defensively," Krabbenhoft said in regards to Bohannon's defense. "It was huge tonight. I don't even remember the four shots. I remember them all at the end maybe. That's because J-Bo was right there. He worked hard in the off-season with his feet, but it really comes down to toughness.
"J-Bo showed a lot of that tonight."
It was evident from the start of the game that the Badgers were coming out as a determined bunch on the offensive glass. In the first half alone, UW logged 10 offensive boards. By the end of the game, the Badgers had 15 offensive rebounds that led to 14 second chance points.
"That was a hard fought battle and eventually Wisconsin obviously made the plays down the stretch," Ohio State head coach Thad Matta said. "We felt that coming into the game the keys were going to be taking care of the basketball and rebounding the ball.
"We didn't do either one of them very well and that was probably the difference."
Joe Krabbenhoft's shot clock violation:
It is hard to fault a guy that had the type of game Krabbenhoft did on Saturday, but after he hauled in an offensive rebound off a badly missed shot, he dribbled out to the perimeter and never released a shot. As a result, UW was hit with a shot clock violation at a critical juncture in the game.
"I'd give him a 98," Ryan said in reference to Krabbenhoft's game. "Deduct two points though for not knowing the amount of seconds on the shot clock, but he did okay. I'm not trading him.
"I don't know if I've ever yelled 'shoot' louder in all my life."
With just over a minute left in the game, Krabbenhoft rebounded Tim Jarmusz's botched three attempt and instead of going up with the lay-up, he brought the ball out with hopes of running some clock.
"It was so loud, I obviously couldn't hear him (coach Ryan) yell shoot," Krabbenhoft explained. "I thought it nicked the rim, that was my first initial thought that it came off the rim. I was on the opposite block, I think it hit the backboard and came to me. For some reason I thought it hit the rim.
"It was just a mental error and it can't happen again because that would have been a big possession. I had a lay-up, but I was thinking if I can dribble it out and get it to a guard or make them foul me, I would get to the free throw line. But, shoot, I had a lay-up. That was a mistake on my part."
Team shooting percentage:
Because of its success rebounding the ball, the Badgers had a plenty of opportunities to score the basketball in Saturday's game. In the first half, UW fired 31 shots, but only hit 10 of them. Then, in the second half, the Badgers shot 24 more times and made 10. The 20-for-55 shooting night, and 4-for-18 tally from beyond the arc, made it tough for UW to widen the margin.
Luckily, it was able to make up for it on the defensive side of the ball, and just enough shots were able to find the bottom of the net so UW could leave victorious on its home court.
"We just had to find some soft areas and we didn't do a very good job of that," Ryan said. "So what we did was, by them being extended, we got on the offensive glass. You have to just find a way.
"And down on the defensive end, we don't take any wishes or hopes there, you just have to play hard. Fortunately, we got them to turn it over because they were shooting it so well. If we don't get them to turn it over, we have no chance."
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