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Wisconsin 71, Ohio State 49

The SportsXchange

MADISON, Wis. -- No. 20 Wisconsin scored early and often and stifled No. 13 Ohio State defensively in a 71-49 victory over the Buckeyes Sunday at the Kohl Center.

The Badgers shot 53 percent from the field (29 of 55) and made 7 of 19 3-pointers, three each by Ben Brust and Sam Dekker.

Jared Berggren and Brust led Wisconsin (18-8, 9-4 Big Ten) with 15 points each and combined for 18 rebounds with Berggren adding four blocked shots. Traevon Jackson added 10 points for the Badgers, who have won four of their last five.

With starter Ryan Evans fighting off an illness, the freshman Dekker saw extended minutes and scored 13 points and, most importantly to the Badgers, zero turnovers. Evans still played 24 minutes and finished with nine points and five rebounds.

Wisconsin took control early and never let up, breaking a 6-6 first-half tie with an 18-0 run that gave Wisconsin a 24-6 lead after George Marshall's dunk at the 9:20 mark. During that stretch, Ohio State (18-7, 8-5) missed 14 straight shots finally getting one when Deshaun Thomas scored on a layup with 8:58 left in the half.

Thomas finished with 18 points, by far the most for anyone on the Ohio State roster. The Buckeyes' leading scorer, averaging 20.2 points per game, went 8 of 17 from the field and added six rebounds, but aside from Sam Thompson, who finished with eight points, none of his teammates scored more than six.

By the break, Ohio State was down 17 after shooting just 10 of 31 from the field and missing all six 3-point attempts. The Buckeyes shot slightly better in the second half to finish the game at 36.8 percent (21 of 57), but never got closer than 14 and fell behind by 26 with 3 minutes to play.

With the victory, the Badgers pulled a game ahead of Ohio State and stayed even with No. 4 Michigan -- a 79-71 winner over Penn State Sunday -- for second place in the Big Ten Conference, two games behind league-leading Indiana and Michigan State in the loss column.

Notes: Wisconsin has played nine ranked teams this season -- seven of them in Big Ten play -- and is 5-4 in those games, tied with No. 1 Indiana for most victories vs. Top 25 teams this season ... Ohio State had won four of the last six meetings with Wisconsin ... After failing to attempt a free throw in a 58-49 loss to Ohio State earlier this season, the Badgers went 6 of 10 from the line Sunday.
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