Men's basketball notes: contributions accumulate

Senior guards, bench players make strong contributions in UW's 72-66 win over Ohio State

MADISON — Senior forward Mike Wilkinson led the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team's charge Tuesday night, but senior guards Clayton Hanson and Sharif Chambliss also played solid games in the Badgers' 72-66 win over Ohio State.

Hanson tallied 14 points on 3 of 5 shooting from the field and 7 of 8 from the free throw line. He also added two assists and four rebounds, including one all-important offensive rebound that helped UW protect its lead in the final minute.

"It certainly wasn't jumping ability or quickness on the floor," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "On that one, that was a matter of Clayton making a good move underneath and going after the ball. Yeah, that was huge."

Hanson and Chambliss were part of a defensive performance that held the Buckeyes' starting backcourt of Brandon Fuss-Cheatham and Tony Stockman to 17 points. Stockman, who did have a number of open looks at the basket, was contained to 4 of 17 shooting, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range, for just nine points.

All told Ohio State, which entered the game shooting 42 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, was 7 of 23 Tuesday.

Chambliss, meanwhile, connected on two of his four attempts from 3-point range and hit 4 of 8 field goals to score 11 points. Chambliss also added two rebounds, one assist and only one turnover in 34 minutes, but more importantly orchestrated a clean, well-executed offensive game plan.

"It was just important for me to come out and take care of the ball. Even if I'm not scoring, I have to be the point guard ... run the offense well," Chambliss said.

Chambliss led a Badger offense that only committed nine turnovers in the game.

On top of his leadership, he also had a scoring touch on his 3-point shot. He gave UW a lead at 22-20 on the first of back-to-back 3s.

The Badgers' starting point guard rebounded nicely after a terrible performance versus Indiana last Saturday in which he missed all seven of his attempts from the floor and coughed the ball up four times in the 74-61 loss.

Badgers win free throw battle

With the game on the line and Wisconsin looking to fend off a furious comeback from Ohio State, the Badgers' free throw shooting was called into play during the final minutes to seal the game.

Wilkinson's clutch 3-pointer gave UW a 64-57 edge with 2:09 left to play but the Badgers did not score another field goal the rest of the way. However, UW was given opportunities from the free throw line and connected on 8 of 14, never allowing the Buckeyes closer than a four-point margin.

In the final two minutes, Hanson hit 5 of 6 free throw attempts and sophomore Kammron Taylor made 3 of 4 charity shots.

For the contest, the Badgers made 16 of 24 free throws or 67 percent. As has been the case for much of this season, UW's percentage was not particularly high, but the Badgers continued to get to the line with regularity. This is the seventh straight game and the 11th time in 14 games in which UW has attempted at least 20 free throws.

Ohio State, meanwhile, was merely 5 of 9 from the free throw line, marking the third time this season that the Badgers have put their opponent on the free throw line less than 10 times in a game.

Flowers power

In 11 minutes Tuesday night Michael Flowers, a true freshman from Madison Wis., contributed two points, but more importantly grabbed two rebounds, blocked his first collegiate shot and played some intense defense that sparked the Badgers in the first half to go into the break with a lead. He drew a charge in the second half.

"Michael came in not so much for points but for the energy defensively and also made a couple key rebounds, a key charge," Ryan said. "He just made some real good decisions about the game. The basketball IQ just keeps getting better."

Amidst a 6-0 UW run over the final 3:35 of the first half, Flowers stepped to the stage with his defense, single-handedly stopping two consecutive Ohio State fast breaks in which the Buckeyes had two- and three-man advantages. Flowers also capped the run with an offensive rebound and layup as time expired to send Wisconsin into halftime with a 5-point edge.

After not seeing any action in back-to-back games versus Alabama and Purdue, Flowers has been called upon in the Badgers' last two outings to play double-digit minutes off the bench. He had two points and three rebounds in 15 minutes in UW's loss at Indiana Saturday.

Badger bench contributes

Flowers was one of four Badgers to come off the bench Tuesday night and play quality minutes in the six-point conference win.

Senior Andreas Helmigk, sophomore Kammron Taylor and freshman Brian Butch combined with Flowers to score 18 points and grab 11 rebounds off the bench for Wisconsin. As integral as their scoring was, their presence in certain situations and with different matchups made a bigger impact on the night.

After UW fell behind 12-6 with 14:46 to go in the first half, baskets by Helmigk, Butch and Taylor over the next two minutes kept Wisconsin within striking distance and gave life to an inconsistent and slow-starting offense.

Helmigk's defense on OSU junior forward Terence Dials was also impressive in the first half—giving senior forward Mike Wilkinson a breather early in the game.

Butch played 20 minutes, tying a career high for the redshirt freshman center, and scored five points while pulling down five rebounds.

Taylor was a steadying influence at the point guard position; his assist to Wilkinson with 2:09 left set up the game's biggest shot, a 3-pointer that gave the Badgers a 64-57 lead.

Bo knows quotes

Bo Ryan, on Ohio State 3-point attempts:

"I thought one was from Monona Grove and the other was from Middleton."

Bo on Bo:

"I just don't let my mind wander. Maybe it's because it's lack of capacity."

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