Gardner-Webb 40

(2-9, 0-8 away)

(4) Wisconsin 98

(13-1, 12-0 home)

    8:00 PM ET, December 27, 2006

    Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin

    1 2 T
    WEBB 19 2140
    #4WIS 52 4698

    Top Performers

    Gardner-Webb: R. McPhee 17 Pts, 2 Reb

    Wisconsin: B. Butch 17 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Blk

    Butch helps No. 4 Wisconsin run down Gardner-Webb

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Relegated to the bench for the game's final six minutes, Wisconsin star Alando Tucker wanted so badly for one of his teammates to hit one last shot as time was running out.

    Tucker wasn't worried about the fourth-ranked Badgers staving off an upset. He just wanted to see the team do something it hadn't done in more than a decade -- score 100 points.

    Wisconsin fell short of the century mark but registered a runaway victory by beating Gardner-Webb 98-40 on Wednesday night. The win gives the Badgers (13-1) their best start in nearly 80 years.

    Brian Butch scored 17 points and had 12 rebounds for Wisconsin, who had two opportunities in the final 30 seconds to reach triple digits. But Kevin Gullikson's shot was blocked under the basket, and the Badgers held the ball on their final possession.

    "We had a chance. I got on Kevin Gullikson's case, because he had a perfect chance to put us in triple digits," Tucker said. "And then we had another chance with Trevon (Hughes) -- he should have shot it at the end. You don't stop playing until the buzzer goes off."

    Tucker was clearly kidding, as the team had strict orders from coach Bo Ryan not to shoot in the final seconds. Wisconsin hasn't scored 100 points since Dec. 28, 1995.

    Ryan, who claimed he didn't know what the score was at the end, was also in a joking mood after the game, noting that he "didn't know of any steakhouse that was giving away free steaks for the coaching staff if you got 100 or anything."

    It was easy to be jovial after the way the Badgers played.

    Wisconsin had four players finish in double figures, and 12 scored. The Badgers chalked up season highs in points, field goals, 3-pointers, 3-point percentage, free throw percentage and assists.

    And they're off to their best start since 1928-29, a feat that Ryan tried to down play.

    "You know me and the team. They'll tell you that we have to go to Georgia in a few days," Ryan said, referring to Sunday's game. "But I'm proud to be associated with a group that's done that, extremely proud."

    Wisconsin scored the game's first seven points, but Gardner-Webb (2-9) pulled within 9-8 eight minutes into the game. The Badgers then ripped off a 14-0 spurt, spurred by consecutive 3-pointers from Kammron Taylor and Jason Bohannon.

    The run kicked off a 32-5 stretch for Wisconsin, who forced the Bulldogs into 14 first-half turnovers.

    "You look up and it's 9-8 and things are going pretty good. We may have woke them up a little bit," Gardner-Webb coach Rick Scruggs said. "I think you saw the whole flow change. We should have taken that timeout at 9-8 and said it didn't get any better than that."

    Butch, a 6-foot-11 power forward, hit 3-pointers late in the first half as the Badgers grabbed a 52-19 lead. Wisconsin finished 12-of-20 from beyond the arc, getting 3s from six players.

    Wisconsin scored on 15 straight possessions before Taylor missed a 3 with 47 seconds left in the half. The Badgers connected on 14 of their final 17 shots from the field before halftime, and shot 59 percent in each half.

    Ricky McPhee had 17 points for the Bulldogs, who shot just 31 percent from the field.

    Taylor scored 13 points for Wisconsin, while Bohannon added 10.

    Tucker, who leads the Big Ten in scoring at 20.7 points per game, was held to 11 points in 4-of-12 shooting but did match Taylor for the team lead with five assists.

    Gardner-Webb committed 20 turnovers that Wisconsin converted into 28 points. The Bulldogs got just two points off the Badgers' nine turnovers.

    The loss was the second this season to a top five team for Gardner-Webb. The Bulldogs, from Boiling Springs, N.C., fell 103-50 to No. 2 North Carolina on Nov. 19.

    "There's not a lot to say except that it was a pretty dominating exhibition by Wisconsin," Scruggs said. "I tell you, I'd love to see North Carolina and Wisconsin play. It'd probably be a better game than a Gardner-Webb-Wisconsin game, obviously. Wisconsin's got a chance to be special."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 40 98
    FG Made-Attempted 15-49 (.306) 35-59 (.593)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-23 (.217) 12-20 (.600)
    FT Made-Attempted 5-9 (.556) 16-19 (.842)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 9 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 58

    2006-07 Season

    » Dec 27, 2006 @WIS 98, WEBB 40Recap