MADISON, Wis. (AP)—Standing only 6-foot-7, Marcus Landry is playing a large role down low for Wisconsin.
Landry scored 17 points and had seven rebounds despite being roughed in the paint, and Joe Krabbenhoft made a key 3-pointer and steal late to help the Badgers beat No. 24 Ohio State 55-50 on Saturday night for their fourth straight win.
“Jeez, those were some big boys,” Krabbenhoft said of the Buckeyes. “It was a very physical game and that’s the kind of ball we like to play, getting back to that old-school Wisconsin basketball. We enjoy that.”
Wisconsin (16-9, 7-6 Big Ten) grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and had a 32-22 rebounding edge against the Buckeyes.
“It felt good outrebounding a team like that that’s known for its size,” Landry said. “We were very active on the glass today and it paid out for us. It gave us second chances and second opportunities.”
But it almost wasn’t enough to snap the Buckeyes’ four-game winning streak after Wisconsin started 1-of-12 from 3-point range.
Evan Turner scored 23 points for Ohio State (17-6, 7-5) and the Buckeyes shot 55 percent from the field, but were anything but efficient because of 19 turnovers. They struggled with Wisconsin’s pressure defense and failing to keep the Badgers off the boards.
Turner committed six turnovers and highly touted freshman center B.J. Mullens had five.
“Landry and Krabbenhoft really stepped up and made some huge plays,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. “The keys were going to be taking care of the basketball and rebounding the ball. And we didn’t do either one of them particularly well.”
The Buckeyes kept it close because of Turner and a late shooting slump by the Badgers, who went more than five minutes without a field goal.
Mullens, who finished with seven points and six rebounds, gave Ohio State a 46-45 lead with a free throw, but Jon Leuer snapped Wisconsin’s long drought with a jumper.
“We got some open shots, that’s what it came down to,” Leuer said. “In the first half, we missed some of those. In the second half, we knocked some of them down.”
After Turner gave Ohio State a 48-47 lead with 3:12 left, Wisconsin took over on the glass again.
The Badgers grabbed their 14th offensive rebound when Jason Bohannon’s 3-point attempt drew iron, but the ball was tapped out to Jordan Taylor. Krabbenhoft then hit his only 3-point attempt to make it 50-48.
Krabbenhoft took a self-deprecating crack at his important basket.
“Well, how many big shots have I really hit? It was a big shot, the shot clock was down and I had to put it up,” the senior said. “I’m sure they weren’t too worried about me.”
But he was about to make another big play.
William Buford, who had 11 points for the Buckeyes, missed a jumper and Wisconsin got another rebound. Tim Jarmusz missed a 3, but Krabbenhoft grabbed another offensive rebound with 1:09 to play before being called for a shot clock violation.
Krabbenhoft made up for it almost immediately.
After a timeout, he helped poke the ball away from Turner for a steal and then hit two free throws with 38 seconds left to make it 52-48.
“He tried to cut me off and tried to go for the ball and we got tangled up and the ball got loose,” Turner said. “Rebounding killed us and taking care of the ball and part of that was my fault.”
Krabbenhoft finished with nine points and eight rebounds, including four on offense, and six steals and Wisconsin outrebounded Ohio State 32-22.
“He’s Joe, he’s always the type of guy who delievers,” Landry said. “You can always count on him.”
The game brought up bad memories for Matta of last season. In Wisconsin’s 58-53 win in Columbus, Bohannon arched a long 3 late in the game as part of a 9-0 run that put the game out of reach.
“It just seemed like we were a step slow to everything,” Matta said. “They got every long rebound. The last one there where Krabbenhoft hit the 3 was reminiscent to last year, kind of the same thing, ball batted out at our place and they pick it up and hit a 3. I don’t know. I don’t know the answer.”