MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Alando Tucker made himself right home in
his first start of the season for Wisconsin.
Tucker, who played a reserve role in his first two games after
returning from a broken foot, scored 12 of his 17 points in the
second half in the No. 22 Badgers' 63-59 victory over No. 23
Marquette on Saturday."I think he gave us a big boost," guard Devin Harris said.
"His presence on the court makes the team feel a little more
comfortable.Harris added 15 points to help the Badgers (7-1) overcame poor
shooting and a slow start to win their 19th straight home game.Travis Diener hit four 3-pointers and scored 19 points to lead
Marquette (7-2) in the 110th meeting between the schools.Tucker played 31 minutes in his third game back from the injury.
He scored five points in the final 1:17, including a free throw
with 7 seconds left that gave Wisconsin a four-point lead."His timing is coming back and he's going to be OK," Wisconsin
coach Bo Ryan said.Tucker was 7-for-11 as the Badgers enjoyed a huge advantage from
the free-throw line. Wisconsin was 22-of-32 from the line, while
Marquette was just 6-of-9."That's an awful big discrepancy," said Marquette coach Tom
Crean, whose team had 23 fouls to Wisconsin's 12. "It's hard to
win anywhere when the free-throw difference is that (big)."Wisconsin struggled from the floor, shooting just 39 percent
overall and 1-of-12 from behind the 3-point line. Marquette was
9-of-18 from 3-point range. But the Badgers had just seven
turnovers to Marquette's 14 and made more plays down the stretch."It's going to be a game of runs. It's going to be a game of
mistakes. The team that makes the fewest usually is going to come
out on top," Crean said.Tucker scored with 45 seconds left to push Wisconsin's lead to
61-58.Marquette's Scott Merritt hit a free throw with 33 seconds
remaining to cut Wisconsin's lead to two and the Golden Eagles
regained possession after a scramble for the rebound.But Merritt was called for traveling with 22.4 seconds left and
Freddie Owens' free throw with 21.2 seconds remaining stretched
Wisconsin's lead to 62-59.After a timeout, Marquette's Steve Novak missed a 3-pointer with
13 seconds left and Tucker grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made
a free throw to make it 63-59."I was pretty much wide open," said Novak, who had 12 points.
"It just didn't fall that time."