Preview: Northwestern vs. Wisconsin

Starting 2-0 in the Big Ten Conference for the fourth straight season, Wisconsin looks to continue its conference momentum when the Badgers host Northwestern, a team they have dominated in Madison, on Wednesday night.

Northwestern (8-4, 0-2 Big Ten) vs. Wisconsin (11-3, 2-0 Big Ten)

Date/Time - Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,230)

Television - Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee, Tim McCormick and Mike Hall)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas)

Series – Wisconsin Leads 104-60

Last Meeting - UW won, 65-52, on March 8, 2008 in Evanston, Ill.

Wisconsin Probable Starters

1 Marcus Landry (Senior Forward, 13.1 ppg)

3 Trevon Hughes (Junior Guard, 12.6 ppg)

12 Jason Bohannon (Junior Guard, 11.0 ppg)

45 Joe Krabbenhoft (Senior Forward, 8.0 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Sophomore Forward, 4.6 ppg)

Off the Bench

11 Jordan Taylor (Freshman Guard, 0.8 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Sophomore Forward, 3.7 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Sophomore Forward, 9.5 ppg)

33 Robert Wilson (Freshman Forward, 2.4 ppg)

Northwestern Probable Starters

20 Craig Moore (Senior Guard, 13.8 ppg)

22 Michael Thompson (Sophomore Guard, 10.3 ppg)

24 John Shurna (Freshman Forward, 9.9 ppg)

44 Kevin Coble (Junior Forward, 14.5 ppg)

54 Kyle Rowley (Freshman Center, 4.9 ppg)

Off the Bench

5 Jeff Ryan (Junior Guard, 3.6 ppg)

12 Luka Mirkovic (Freshman Forward, 2.8 ppg)

21 Ivan Peljusic (Sophomore Forward, 2.7 ppg)

23 Jeremy Nash (Junior Guard, 1.3 ppg)

Last Time Out

The Badgers were able to shake off every run the Nittany Lions brought at them, en route to a 65-61 victory.

Marcus Landry led Wisconsin with a career-high 23 points. Jason Bohannon added 14 points, while Trevon Hughes scored 10 points and Joe Krabbenhoft registered his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

For the second straight game, Wisconsin capitalized on putting its defensive attention on the opposing team's top scorer. After holding Michigan's Manny Harris - entering the game as the conference's leading scorer - to nine points on 3-of-13 shooting, Wisconsin limited Penn State's Talor Battle – who also came into the game as the Big Ten's new leading scorer – to six points on 2-of-11 shooting.

However, Battle's backcourt mate Stanley Pringle picked up the scoring slack. The senior guard scored a game high 26 points. He was unconscious from behind the arc, nailing 4-of-6 3-pointers.

Leading 61-60 with less than a minute left, Landry hit a clutch turnaround jumper in the post that put Wisconsin up 63-60. And then after Penn State needed to stop the clock with seven seconds remaining, Hughes was able to find Landry cutting to the basket, who flushed home the dunk that put the exclamation point on a close 65-61 win.

Series Notes:

This will be the 165th meeting between Wisconsin and Northwestern in a series that dates back to 1910 with UW leading the all-time serier 104-60, including a 61-20 advantage in Madison

The Badgers have won six of the last seven meetings and four straight

UW has won 10 consecutive games vs. NU in Madison and is 9-0 vs. the Wildcats in the Kohl Center

The losing team has scored 60 points or less in each of the last 21 meetings between the teams

Wisconsin Notes:

With the home win over Penn State Saturday, UW avenged a loss to Texas in its previous game at the Kohl Center. Under Ryan, Wisconsin has never lost consecutive home games. In fact, the last time the Badgers lost two in a row at home was in 1998, their first year in the Kohl Center with losses vs. Michigan State (2/21) and Ohio State (2/25).

Overall, the Badgers have won 21 straight games against nonranked opponents. UW has not lost to an unranked foe since a loss at Purdue (1/26/08) nearly a year ago. In Coach Ryan's eight seasons at Wisconsin, the Badgers have never lost to an unranked Big Ten team at home, owning a perfect 45-0 record in those games.

Wisconsin has already had four games decided by three points or less this season, posting a 3-1 record in such games. Over the last five seasons, the Badgers are 17-4 (.810) overall in games decided by a 3-pointer or less, which is the second-best mark in the country. Only Georgetown (17-3, .850) has a higher mark than UW.

Northwestern Notes:

NU's four losses this season have come by an average of just 6.25 points. The teams the Wildcats have lost to—Butler, Stanford, Penn State and Michigan State—have a combined record of 46-7. Northwestern held second-half leads of 11 points on the road at both Butler and Penn State, led No. 10 Michigan State at the half and was down by one with under two minutes remaining at Stanford.

Michigan State's 77 points Jan. 3 snapped a streak of 15 consecutive opponents held under 70 points by Northwestern. It was the longest such streak in the country. The Wildcats lead the Big Ten in scoring defense and rank fifth in all of NCAA Division I entering play this week in the category, allowing an average of 55.5 points per game.

The lack of an inside presence hurt Northwestern in many ways last season, including allowing opponents to shoot 48.3 percent from the field, including 39.2 percent from 3-point range. So far this year, the Wildcats' foes have shot a combined 38.7 percent from the field and have committed an average of 15.8 turnovers per game. Northwestern has a +3.9 turnover margin so far this season. The 36 points scored by DePaul Dec. 6 were the fewest by the Blue Demons in a game since Jan. 29, 1949.

Northwestern is off to a good start this season on multiple levels. The Wildcats began the season 8-2 for the first time since starting the 2001-02 season with the same mark. The eight wins already match the team's total from all of last season. The 1993- 94 squad started its campaign with nine straight wins en route to an NIT berth. NU has put itself in position to win each of its games this season by having strong first halves. The 'Cats have had halftime leads of at least nine points in seven of their first 12 games and have led by at least 15 points in five of those contests. Northwestern has trailed at halftime just twice this year

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