Technicals swing game back and forth

Wisconsin overcomes UW-Milwaukee's 28-4 rally, Boo Davis' seven 3-pointers, in 74-68 win

They could have be cursory events, mere incidental coincidences in the game of streaks and spurts that is basketball. But the two technical fouls called on UW-Milwaukee Thursday night at the Kohl Center certainly served as points of demarcation in Wisconsin's 74-68 victory.

The first technical was followed by a 24-point swing that turned a blowout into an ultra-competitive affair. The second preceded a 9-0 spurt that put some breathing room into what had been a tie game.

The Badgers (9-1) made 16 of their first 23 field-goal attempts (70 percent) in dominating the visiting Panthers (4-3) early, jumping out to a 36-17 lead.

"You have to give Wisconsin credit," UW-Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter said. "They made a lot of shots."

How Wisconsin scored its 37th point, however, ended up shifting momentum in UWM's favor.

With 5:40 left in the first half, Panther star forward Joah Tucker was called for charging, his third personal foul. He then smacked his hand against the court in disgust and was promptly whistled for a technical foul. With 25:40 left in the game, the Panthers' leading scorer had been called for four fouls and had to sit out.

Kammron Taylor made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 37-17, matching UW's largest lead of the game (32-12).

Badgers in a romp? Not with Boo Davis (7 of 14 on 3-pointers) shooting the ball the way he did Thursday night. With Joah Tucker on the bench, UWM went on a 13-0 run to close the half down 37-30.

"In basketball games there (are) runs and they made theirs too," UW coach Bo Ryan said. "And they did it without Joah. So that gave them some confidence at halftime. So we knew coming out the second half it was going to be a possession-for-possession battle."

Davis' 3-pointer with 3:45 left before halftime fueled the rally. One possession later Davis knocked down another 3, this time following Chris Hills' offensive rebound, and suddenly it was 37-27. Davis' fourth 3-pointer made it 37-30 with 2:29 left before halftime.

"I just came down and shot that first shot," Davis said. His first triple, at 7:08, made it 32-15. "Once I hit that first shot I knew I was going to take that second one. I just was lucky to hit those shots and I just tried to come out and do it."

The Panthers had a chance to draw closer still, but Avery Smith missed on a drive at 1:21 and Davis missed a triple with six seconds left.

The Badgers effectively accomplished whatever they set out to do offensively for most of the first half. After Taylor's free throw at 5:40, however, they missed all four of their field goals attempts and two free throw attempts and turned it over four times on their way to halftime.

"We might have got too comfortable with the lead that we had at the time and we started getting lazy with the ball," Taylor said.

The Panthers opened the second half with a 12-2 run to take a 42-39 lead. Davis made yet another 3, this time from close to 30 feet out, to give UWM its biggest lead, at 45-41.

"I'm proud of these guys, the way they fought through and especially the guys who picked up for Joah," Jeter said.

"I got to give my teammates credit," Davis said. "We fought back, didn't show no frustration and I think we did a good job. We just tried to come up with the win. Wisconsin's a tough team. Our guys did a good job just fighting back, fighting back, but came up with the loss."

Wisconsin tied it at 45-45 and 47-47, before taking a 51-50 lead on Alando Tucker's layup in transition.

With the game tied 52-52 after UW's DeAaron Williams made 1 of 2 free throws, UWM's Kevin Massiah attacked the basket and drew contact from Badger forward Brian Butch. No foul was called, eliciting an irate response from Jeter and a technical on the UW-Milwaukee bench.

With 8:20 left to play, Taylor sank two free throws and, on the ensuing possession, Butch made a long 2. Five points from Michael Flowers capped the 9-0, post-technical run.

UW-Milwaukee, though, battled back and closed within 61-59 with a 7-0 run. Joah Tucker, who played just 16 minutes before picking up his fifth foul, scored five points in the spurt, including a contested 3.

Taylor answered with a strong drive to the basket, drawing a foul for a three-point play with 3:48 left to give UW a 64-59 edge.

UW-Milwaukee surged again, however, closing to 68-66 on Davis' seventh triple of the night with 37.2 seconds left.

The Badgers preserved their lead at the free-throw line. After making just 1 of 5 charity shots, Alando Tucker made a pair with 42 seconds left and two more with 20 seconds left. Taylor went 4-for-4 at the line in the final 33 seconds and 13 of 15 for the game.

"I've been on both sides of this," said Jeter, who spent the previous four seasons as an assistant at Wisconsin. "There's a reason why this team, Wisconsin, is very good at home. They stick to it, guys step up and they just find ways to beat you."

Davis led UW-Milwaukee with 23 points while forward Adrian Tigert added 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

For Wisconsin, Taylor scored 23 points and had a career-high six assists. Alando Tucker, who was more assertive early in the game that he had been in recent outings, posted a game-high 25 points.

Tucker scored 13 points in just over 14 minutes to start the game, his layup giving UW a 36-17 edge with 5:48 left before halftime.

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