Deep in the Heart For Wisconsin

Holding a one-point lead with two-plus minutes to go, Wisconsin felt the pressure of Texas and couldn't respond, allowing the Longhorns to go on an 8-2 run in the final minutes to steal a victory away from Wisconsin, 74-69.

MADISON — Michael Flowers was in the house Tuesday night, sitting four rows behind the Wisconsin bench.

A year after the former UW guard's three-pointer with two seconds remaining lifted Wisconsin to a one-point road victory over Texas, the Badgers could have used more of his heroics.

Instead, Wisconsin dropped its third game to a ranked opponent, losing 74-69 to eighth-ranked Texas.

Trevon Hughes scored 18 and Jason Bohannon scored 16, but foul trouble limited leading scorer Marcus Landry to just 22 minutes. Landry finished with eight points and three rebounds.

"We've been playing well, we just haven't pulled out a couple of those victories there," guard Jason Bohannon said.

Wisconsin trailed 66-64 when Trevon Hughes drove the left side of the lane. With the defense collapsing, Hughes kicked to Bohannon on the left wing and the junior's three found nothing but net and gave UW a 67-66 lead.

The Badgers kept that lead after Damion James (18 points) rebounded A.J. Abram's missed three and stepped out of bounds. But a botched handoff at midcourt between Joe Krabbenhoft and Hughes following the final media timeout allowed Dogus Bambay to scoop up the loose ball and convert an easy layup, his only bucket, to give Texas the lead back.

"It just keeps getting replayed in my mind," a dejected Krabbenhoft said afterward. "It hasn't stopped. I just can't figure out why… there's no excuse. I've been in games like that. I've handled the ball. I take 100 percent responsibility for that."

From that point, momentum swung the way of the Longhorns.

"They're down one, he makes the steal, they go up," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "Changes the complexion. You've got a team on the road that all of a sudden gets that fresh air, kinda like us last year at their place."

After Landry scored from inside to make it a one-point game, A.J. Abrams shot came up short, but the ball caromed off the rim and James chased down the loose ball in the corner to give the Longhorns another possession. Wisconsin played solid defense for 30 seconds, but with five seconds left on the shot clock, Gary Johnson banked in a 15-footer from the elbow.

There were no late-game heroics this time.

Down three, the Badgers put the ball in Hughes' hands. The junior drove, but found himself trapped on the right block. Instead of passing the ball to an open teammate, Hughes forced up a shot, but the taller James blocked it.

"Once you draw that many people, you kick it out then," Ryan said. "But Trevon's one of those guys that, you love him for the fact that he likes to make something happen. He thought he could get a foul, he thought he could get to the line and get a three-point play."

Bohannon was then forced to foul Abrams, who buried two free throws to ice the game.

Wisconsin was able to keep it close early on despite playing without two of its main scoring threats for most of the first half.

Beside Landry, Jon Leuer, who entered the game averaging just under 10 points per game, played just five minutes before picking up his second foul.

Hughes scored seven points, including a deep three from the right wing, during a 9-0 first-half run that gave the Badgers a seven-point lead at 28-21. Texas would respond, however.

After the two teams traded baskets, the Longhorns went on an 11-0 run to take a 34-30 lead with three-and-a-half minutes to play in the first half.

Jason Bohannon then hit two free throws on consecutive possessions even the score at 34.

But just like the final score, the Longhorns got the last laugh in the first half.

With the score tied at 37 and time running down, Varez Ward's desperation three-pointer came up short.

Like he would later against Hughes, James made a big play, tipping in Ward's miss before the half expired to give the Longhorns two points that would prove critical later.

"Things aren't going to change around here," Krabbenhoft said. "We're going to get back to work once we get back from Christmas break. We're going to win some big games. There's no doubt about that. We can win big games.

"We know we can play with a team like that. I mean, shoot, we left another game out there (and) it's getting old talking about it. We got to go out and beat a team like Texas next time. We can't sit up here and say we left an opportunity to get a big win out there out on the floor. We've got to do it."

Badger Nation Top Stories