"This was a statement game," Tucker said Tuesday night after
he scored a career-high 27 points to lead Wisconsin (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP) past No.
12 Maryland 69-64 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. "There were
probably a lot of doubts out there that we were a strong team."
Sharif Chambliss added 15 points and Zach Morley had 12 for the
Badgers (3-1), who won their 31st straight home game. That ties
Stephen F. Austin for the longest current Division I home winning
All of Morley's points came over the final 7:40 and included
three free throws in the final 16 seconds.
"I'm pretty excited," said Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, whose team
bounced back from the 75-61 loss to Pepperdine in which it
committed 23 turnovers. "I like the way we responded tonight after
But Nik Caner-Medley, Maryland's leading scorer entering the
game, was 2-of-9 from the field and finished with seven points.
Worse yet for the Terrapins, point guard John Gilchrist was
2-of-14 from the field and finished with just six points. Gilchrist
didn't score in the second half and made his only two field goals
in the first 3 minutes of the game.
"He's been a big player down the stretch in games for us his
whole career," Maryland coach Gary Williams said of Gilchrist.
"I'm sure this was just one of those nights."
The Terrapins also couldn't find a way to stop Tucker, who was
8-of-14 from the field and helped Wisconsin enjoy a huge edge from
the free-throw line. Tucker was 11-of-15 from the line for the
Badgers, who made 21-of-30 compared to 7-of-13 by Maryland.
"He's really quick," Williams said of Tucker, who scored 20
points in the first half, including 16 of Wisconsin's first 20. "I
thought at times we had some good defensive players on him, but he
still got where he could get fouled and he did a heck of a job."
But Tucker needed help -- and he got it from Chambliss and
Led by Chambliss, Wisconsin's bench outscored Maryland's 26-5.
Morley, meanwhile, gave the Badgers the lead for good with 7:40
remaining in the game with a putback that made it 50-48.
Wisconsin seemed to have the game in control after Morley scored
with 36 seconds left to make it 66-59, but Maryland got a basket
from Ibekwe and a 3-pointer from Caner-Medley to pull within two
with 21 seconds remaining.
Morley hit one free throw with 16 seconds left to make it 67-64.
Maryland had a chance to tie the game in the closing moments, but
Chambliss stripped Caner-Medley on his way up for a 3-pointer with
5 seconds remaining.
Morley grabbed the loose ball and hit two free throws with 3
seconds left to seal the victory.
Wisconsin's last loss at the Kohl Center came on Dec. 4, 2002,
when Wake Forest beat the Badgers 90-80 in an ACC-Big Ten Challenge