Date/Time - Saturday, January 16, at 7 p.m. Central
Arena – Value City Arena (19,049)
Television - Big Ten Network (Tom Hamilton and Jim Jackson)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas)
Series – Ohio State Leads 84-66 (OSU Leads 51-21 in Columbus)
Last Meeting – UW won, 65-43, on Dec. 31, 2009 in Madison.
Wisconsin Probable Starters
3 Trevon Hughes (Senior Guard, 15.8 ppg)
11 Jordan Taylor (Sophomore Guard, 9.3 ppg)
12 Jason Bohannon (Senior Guard, 11.1 ppg)
24 Tim Jarmusz (Junior Forward, 3.0 ppg)
52 Keaton Nankivil (Junior Forward, 7.2 ppg)
Off the Bench
5 Ryan Evans (Freshman Forward, 4.8 ppg)
31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward, 1.3 ppg)
33 Rob Wilson (Sophomore Forward, 2.4 ppg)
40 Jared Berggren (Freshman Forward, 1.5 ppg)
Ohio State Probable Starters
21 Evan Turner (Junior Guard, 18.8 ppg)
23 David Lighty (Junior Guard, 13.1 ppg)
33 Jon Diebler (Junior Guard, 13.6 ppg)
44 William Buford (Sophomore Guard, 13.7 ppg)
52 Dallas Lauderdale (Junior Forward, 7.0 ppg)
Off the Bench
2 Jeremie Simmons (Senior Guard, 7.6 ppg)
4 P.J. Hill (Senior Guard, 4.7 ppg)
15 Kyle Madsen (Senior Center, 2.1 ppg)
Hughes scored 14 of his 16 points in the final 6 minutes, 52 seconds to help No.13 Wisconsin – playing its first game without second-leading scorer Jon Leuer – out play a talented Northwestern club down the stretch to earn a hard-fought 60-50 victory in front of bipartisan 6,566 fans at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Wisconsin (14-3, 4-1 Big Ten) didn't have a made field goal for 8 minutes, 2 seconds midway through the second half, a span that included 13 missed free throws from the floor, but were still in the thick of things due to the play of Bohannon (a game-high 19 points) and Taylor (10 points), who was making his first career start in place of Leuer.
Hughes was mostly a bystander, scoring only two points on two free throws, but the embers were starting to glow. With his team down 42-39, Hughes made his first bucket, a three from the right elbow. He was unconscious until the final horn sounded.
Hughes made a driving lay-up two possessions later and after Drew Crawford sank a three pointer for Northwestern (12-4, 1-3), Hughes quickly answered on the sequence of the evening.
With Northwestern leading 48-46, Hughes missed a three-pointer but Taylor grabbed one of UW's 15 offensive rebound and swung the ball back to Hughes, who sank a three-pointer to give the Badgers a 49-48 lead with 4:54 to go. UW never trailed on the 14th and final lead change of the game.
Hughes hit three-pointers on UW's next two possessions, both on feeds from Taylor (one of the sophomore's seven assists), to give the senior 14 points in under four minutes of game time and push the lead to seven. When the dust had settled, Hughes scored 14 of UW's final 21 points and Northwestern was done for.
Sophomore forward John Shurna led Northwestern with 15 points, but the Wildcats, who entered the night as the Big Ten leader in scoring in conference games (73.7), were no match for the Badgers' defense and their Big Ten-low 52.3 points per game. The Wildcats made only two field goals in the final 14:36, allowing UW to close the game on a 14-2 run.
More importantly, Wisconsin snagged 12 straight rebounds (6 offensive, 6 defensive) until Northwestern got a meaningless rebound with only two seconds left on the game clock.
Last Time Out:
With leading scorer Jon Leuer spending most of the final 16 minutes of the first half on the bench because of foul trouble, the simple goal for the Badgers would seem to be keep it simple and regroup for the second half.
Accepting defeat, however, is and never had been an option for Hughes.
Hughes scored 13 of his game-high 16 points during a decisive first-half stretch that helped No.23 Wisconsin distance itself without one of its best players, providing too much offense for No.15 Ohio State to handle in a 65-43 blowout in Madison.
The victory gives UW (11-2) its seventh consecutive win in a Big Ten opener, the longest active streak in the league, and gives the Badgers a win in their 11th straight home conference opener.
Drawing the challenging task of guarding Ohio State junior David Lighty, the Big Ten's Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 30 points his last time out against Cleveland State, Leuer picked up two quick fouls, forcing him to the bench with 15 minutes, 51 seconds left in the half.
With the 17-points-per-game scorer relegated to spectator status, Wisconsin's other big-time scoring threat happily took the burden.
Already having five points before Leuer's exited with the game score locked at seven, Hughes quickly asserted himself offensively. He hit a deep three-pointer, one of his three made perimeter shots of the half, in front of the Buckeyes' bench to push the lead to 12-8.
After sophomore William Buford's made short jumper at 11:55, Hughes scored the next five, including a heads-up steal on Buford after a defensive rebound, turning it into an easy lay up.
That play put some pop into UW, as Hughes, Wilson and Nankivil each hit a deep three-pointer on the next three possessions to spur the Badgers, without Leuer's contributions, to a 16-2 run.
Ohio State (10-3) didn't help matters by not having a made field goal from Buford's bucket to the 4:08 mark, only managing a pair of P.J. Hill free throws during the stretch that did little to stop the bleeding.
The Buckeyes, who got 14 points from Buford and 10 from Lighty, managed to chip the lead down to as little as seven late in the first, but Leuer scored nine of UW's first 11 second-half points that quickly ballooned the lead to 18.
UW has won eight straight games vs. the Buckeyes in Madison and have split the last 10 meetings at Ohio State. UW is 12-5 against OSU under Bo Ryan, including a 4-2 mark at Value City Arena over that span.
According to realtimeRPI.com, UW has played the 13th-toughest schedule in the nation. The Sagarin ratings rank UW's schedule 16th-most difficult.
Wisconsin has faced 27 top-25 teams since 2007-08, tied (with UConn) as the second-most in all of college basketball. Only Ohio State (31) has played more ranked foes over that span. The Badgers are 13-14 in those contests.
Senior Trevon Hughes was named one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which is annually given to the top nation's top point guard. A final 10 will be announced by February 1 and the final five will be selected by March 1, 2010. Former UW point guard Devin Harris was the runner-up for the award in 2004.
Bo Ryan is just two victories away from becoming the 18th coach in conference history to record 100 Big Ten wins.
Ohio State Notes:
Junior Jon Diebler has made 199 career 3- pointers to rank No. 2 all time at Ohio State behind Jamar Butler's 242 career makes. Diebler has averaged 66 a season over three years with about half of the 2009-10 campaign remaining.
Turner could become just the second player in recorded history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Jim Jackson is the only other Buckeye to do so with 1,785 career points, 552 career rebounds and 372 career assists from 1990-92. Turner has 291 career assists to date and is averaging 5.6 assists a game this season.
The Buckeyes have an all-time record of 131-219 vs. ranked opponents in the Associated Press Top 25.
Wisconsin shows a lot of heart, grit and determination Wednesday by figuring out a way to beat Northwestern in Evanston without its most experienced post player. UW held on to the ball, took smart shots and played tremendous defense. That same strategy will be needed against Ohio State.
Evan Turner is back and he is better than ever. That second half against Purdue was incredibly impressive, which means the Badgers have two options. A) Try to stop Evan Turner B) Try to stop everyone else. The Badgers did a pretty good job of that on December 31, really limiting Ohio State in all areas offensively.
This would be a tough game with Jon Leuer in the line up. I think Northwestern is a tougher match-up for Wisconsin, honestly, but Ohio State with Evan Turner is a lot better than a OSU team without him. I think the Badgers' string of luck will end in Columbus, although another gritty effort will be displayed. UW sticks with OSU, but falls by eight in the closing minutes.
Worgull's Record: 12-5
Points off Prediction: 195 (11.5 per game)