Big men survive foul trouble

Badgers fight through uncharacteristic problem in 69-57 win

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Wisconsin typically does a fantastic job avoiding foul trouble and limiting opponent's chances at the free throw line.


Wednesday, though, Ohio State took 25 free throws, the most of any UW opponent all season, and three Badger forwards picked up at least four fouls.


Junior Mike Wilkinson, sophomore Andreas Helmigk and senior Dave Mader all struggled with foul trouble, rotating throughout the game as the Buckeyes continuously hammered the ball inside.


The foul trouble shortened a bench already tightened by the absence of starters Freddie Owens, a senior guard, and sophomore forward Alando Tucker, who continue to nurse foot injuries.


Wilkinson, who played an average 37.7 minutes in three previous games, was limited to 21 after picking up his second foul midway through the first half. He picked up two more fouls during the game and would have likely played even less if not for the rest of the team's foul problems.


Wilkinson scored eight points on 3-for-4 shooting, but with the team's top post presence out of the lineup for extended periods the Badgers struggled on the glass. Ohio State out-rebounded Wisconsin 41-24 and garnered 17 second-chance points. It was the Badgers' worst rebounding margin this season and only the fifth time all year Wisconsin has been  out-rebounded and two of those instances were by just one board.


Helmigk started but scored just two points with two rebounds and fouled out with about six minutes left in the game, having played 23 gritty minutes in a physical game. Helmigk came one minute short of a career high.


Mader picked up his third foul with more than five minutes left in the first half and notched his fourth at the 14:20 mark in the second half. Mader, though, managed to avoid his fifth foul and contributed a season-high seven points in just 12 minutes.


Wisconsin's 8-for-14 free throw shooting set a season low for made free throws and tied a season low for attempts.

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