NCAA Hoops: Northwestern goes down in Madison

NCAA Hoops: Northwestern goes down in Madison

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011
Posted 7:39 p.m.

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin is perfect at home for the third time under Bo Ryan.

Jon Leuer scored 26 points and No. 12 Wisconsin beat Northwestern 78-63 in its regular-season home finale Sunday night, securing a perfect 16-0 record at the Kohl Center this season.

Jordan Taylor scored 16 points and Keaton Nankivil added 15 for Wisconsin (22-6, 12-4 Big Ten), which has won seven of its last eight overall. The Badgers finish the regular season with a pair of road games, at Indiana on Thursday and at Ohio State on Sunday.

Michael Thompson scored 19 and Davide Curletti added 18 for Northwestern (16-12, 6-11), which has lost two straight and four of its last six.

Wisconsin's student section chanted "Thank you, seniors" as Ryan emptied his bench in the final minute of the game. He's had three perfect home marks in 10 seasons with Wisconsin.

Northwestern seemed to be on the verge of being blown out at several points throughout the game, but managed to keep things close with strong outside shooting. The Wildcats made 11 of 21 3-pointers, with Thompson hitting five of six and John Shurna making four of seven.

Already leading by 13 at halftime, Wisconsin remained firmly in control to begin the second half - including a flashy play by Leuer, who snagged a sharp pass from Taylor out of the air and converted a two-handed reverse dunk to put the Badgers up 51-35 with 16:18 left in the game.

Northwestern relied on its outside shooting to keep the game within reach.

The Wildcats cut the Badgers' lead to 54-47 on a 3-pointer by Thompson with 12:25 left, and later cut the lead to 57-52 on a 3-pointer by Drew Crawford.

Northwestern finally hit a cold spell down the stretch, missing 3-pointers on critical back-to-back possessions. Taylor then nailed a 3-pointer on the other end, putting the Badgers up 63-55 with 5:35 left in the game.

Taylor later sealed the victory with another 3 to put Wisconsin up 70-59 with 3:00 left.

Wisconsin was coming off a last-second victory at Michigan on Wednesday, when Josh Gasser banked in a last-second three-pointer. Gasser had a triple-double in the Badgers' 78-46 victory at Northwestern on Jan. 23 but was a little more quiet on Sunday, scoring 10 points.

Northwestern was trying to rebound from a home loss to Penn State on Thursday night.

Wisconsin shot 65.4 percent from the field in the first half, but Northwestern managed to stave off a blowout by going 7-for-9 from 3-point range. The Wildcats trailed 43-30 at the half.

Box Score
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Saturday on CSN: Bradley vs. Nevada; Illinois State vs. New Mexico

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USA TODAY

Saturday on CSN: Bradley vs. Nevada; Illinois State vs. New Mexico

CSN will have two quality college basketball matchups on Saturday as two Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge games will be featured live.

Bradley (4-3) has Nevada (6-2) in town for a 7 p.m. game Saturday on CSN while Illinois State (3-2) will host New Mexico (5-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday on CSN+.

The Braves have alternated wins and losses all season as they hope to build momentum off of a road win over Eastern Illinois.

Freshman guard Darrell Brown paces Bradley at 15.3 points per game on 48 percent three-point shooting while junior guard JoJo McGlaston is putting up 12.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest.

Nevada enters this one winning four of their last five games as senior guard Marcus Marshall is averaging 20.0 points and 3.9 assists per game. Sophomore forward Cameron Oliver has been generating some pro buzz as he's averaging 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from three-point range.

In the second contest, Illinois State is hoping for a key non-conference win against a quality opponent. Senior forward Deontae Hawkins is doing some solid damage as he's averaging 16.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while junior forward MiKyle McIntosh is at 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds a game.

Proviso East product Paris Lee is also having a good year at guard for Illinois State.

New Mexico is led by a former area product as Homewood-Flossmoor graduate Tim Williams is averaging 19.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for the Lobos. Junior guard Elijah Brown, the son of former NBA coach Mike Brown, is also playing well for New Mexico as he's putting up 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Preview: Northern Iowa takes on George Mason tonight on CSN+

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USA TODAY

Preview: Northern Iowa takes on George Mason tonight on CSN+

Northern Iowa looks to snap a two-game losing streak as they host George Mason tonight. You can catch this game live on CSN+ at 7 p.m.

The Panthers (3-2) have lost both games to Xavier as Northern Iowa matched up with the top-25 team for the title in the Tire Pros Invitational in Orlando before losing to them on the road less than a week later.

Northern Iowa does own some solid wins over Oklahoma and Arizona State as they're led by senior Jeremy Morgan, who is averaging 16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game -- which all lead the team. 

Junior forward Klint Carlson has also been strong for the Panthers as he's put up 12.2 points per game while shooting 44 percent from three-point range.

George Mason (3-2) has won three consecutive games -- with two of those wins coming by four points or less. The Patriots haven't played anyone as good as Northern Iowa yet as they beat Kent State, Bradley and James Madison.