Hoops notes: Walk this way

Travels punctuate first half struggles; Chappell plays important minutes to spell Wilkinson

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Wisconsin had a tough time getting its offense on track in the first half of its 65-56 win over North Carolina State Friday, partly because of a rash of turnovers, including five traveling violations.

Senior forward Mike Wilkinson was called for traveling three times within the first 12 minutes of game.

"I got a little, I guess, quick with my feet a couple times and had a few turnovers but I still knocked down a few shots and made a few free throws," Wilkinson said.

Sophomore forward Alando Tucker and senior forward Zach Morley were also whistled for taking two many steps.

All told Wisconsin made seven field goals in the first 20 minutes, while turning it over 11 times (five by Wilkinson) with zero assists.

"Eleven [turnovers] is what we [usually] have a for a game," sophomore guard Kammron Taylor said. "That's not us. We came back in the second half and I think we did a real good job of taking care of the ball."

The Badgers had seven turnovers and seven assists in the second half.

Fouls hamper Wilkinson early

Wilkinson's traveling violations, which all occurred in a four-minute span, were not his only worries in the first half. The 6-foot-8 senior was called for his second foul with 7:46 left to play before halftime and he sat out the rest of the first half.

Wilkinson scored six points in 12 first-half minutes, on 2 of 4 shooting. He added 11 points in the second half on 3 of 4 from the field, and also contributed five rebounds.

Butch, Chappell fill in

With Wilkinson on the bench forwards redshirt freshman Brian Butch and sophomore Jason Chappell played significant minutes for the Badgers, with mixed results.

Butch struggled defensively in his three minutes, fouling Julius Hodge on a drive to the basket, and giving up a dunk to Cedric Simmons when he let himself get sealed off on the block.

Chappell played well on the defensive end, providing a solid presence against Simmons and N.C. State's other post players.

"Defensively, [coach Bo Ryan] put me in because he just wanted people to play tough down low and be able to stop the big man from getting easy shots and be able to rebound," Chappell said. "I just went in and tried to do that."

Chappell, however, turned it over twice at the other end of the floor.

"I thought I could beat my man," he said. "I got by him. It was just once I got by him I couldn't do anything. I knew we were in the bonus so I started being aggressive hoping I could draw some fouls. It didn't happen the way I planned."

The 6-foot-10 sophomore's six first half minutes nearly matched his career single-game high (8). The New Berlin, Wis., native also had one rebound.

"I'm just so happy for everybody's contribution," guard Sharif Chambliss said. "The bench kept us fired up, Chappell came off the bench and gave us some great minutes. He usually doesn't play a lot but he stepped up big time today. He stepped in there and got physical with it with their big men."

Courtside

Wilkinson played 31 minutes, becoming the Badgers' all-time leader in career minutes, with 3,984. He also tied Charlie Wills for first place on Wisconsin's all-time games played list with 129 and moved into sole possession of eighth place with 97 career starts.

Wisconsin tied a school record set last season with its 25th victory… In four seasons as UW's head coach Bo Ryan is now 7-0 in NCAA Tournament games against lower-seeded teams. His seventh tourney victory is a school record for a Badger coach… UW is now 21-1 this season while wearing their home white uniforms.


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