Tucker, Badgers Pull it Out NU 50 UW 56

Northwestern's Jeff Ryan started the game and led the Cats in scoring with 18, but #4 Wisconsin's Alando Tucker came on at the end to help the Badgers beat the Northwestern Wildcats 56-50

You look at the Game Flow in the Gametracker
and you see NU's white line above the Big 10's leading team's yellow line most of the game. NU had trailed for part of the first half, but came back on a couple of steals and layups to lead at the half, 26-24.

The Cats again jumped out to an early lead, forcing one Wisconsin turnover after another while holding the Badger's top scorer Alando Tucker to just 2 points. NU finished the first half with over 20 points off turnovers - Tim Doyle had 3 steals in the half.

Meanwhile, freshman Jeff Ryan, starting for forward Kevin Coble, showed why he should be a force for the Cats down the road, making layups, 2 steals and even a 3 pointer. He finished the game with 18 points.

AP - GreenTim Doyle continued his assault on the assist records - ESPN called him a "true Point Forward," a title he earned with 8 assists and 4 steals, while hitting 4 of 14 for 11 points.

Sterling Williams and Vince Scott also finished with 8 points - Scott hit two 3 pointers early, but then missed 5 treys as Wisconsin played tighter defense. Scott also had 6 rebounds, 4 assists, a block and a steal.

NU finished with 28 points from turnovers, and 8 on fast breaks, but all of those were in the first half.

Overall, the Cats were hurt by 38% shooting, and 4 of 18 from outside the arc. They also committed 19 fouls to Wiscy's 13, including 2 from Ivan Tolic. [left] Wisconsin also out rebounded NU 37-22, 25-12 on the defensive end. Alando Tucker scored 15 in the 2nd half to lead the Badgers in scoring with 17.

After the game, Bill Carmody talked to the crowd about a game that, while still a home loss, seemed to be a "better" loss than the one to Michigan last week. [There was a long pause....]
Bill Carmody: Yeah, I was pleased with the effort of the guys, I thought we executed pretty well throughout the game. We had a couple "droughts."

In the first half we had a drought , but then we were able to close it with some steals at the  end of the first half, and then in the second half it was just harder - it became more physical  and we didn't get as many open looks as I thought we should have.

Did he feel that the players handled the last 5 minutes of the game better than last week?
BC: The effort, I thought was there,  I thought we executed pretty well.

We missed some real easy baskets there, at some times, so you don't know how that would change the game, but I was proud of the, what they did out there.

One bright spot had to be Jeff Ryan, who got the start today, and provided some spark
BC: He's a tough matchup. They had their 4 man on him - Landry or Chappell - and we thought that might happen and just told him to be aggressive and take it to the basket and he seems pretty effective doing that.
What about the defense, especially since NU had 15 turnovers and 9 steals against a Wisconsin team that doesn't turn the ball over very much.
BC: Ryan had a lot to do with that and Timmy at the top of the zone, and Vince Scott a couple, but their defense tightened up.

I don't think Craig [Moore] got too many open looks  and Rock, what's his name?, Taylor?.

He did a nice job on him on some of the set plays for Craig so - its a good team, they're away in a tough situation and they came through - that's what you want your team to do.

NU did do a better job rebounding, and going after loose balls....
BC: True, a little bit but at the end 52-50 and we miss and we didn't get the rebound with 4 guys around it so - you have an opportunity there and you go down and see what happens.

But they had to go small. Our offense was running pretty well so they took out their big guys and so I think that helped our rebounding.

The difference had to be the play of Alando Tucker in the 2nd half for Wisconsin...
BC: Tucker was - you know he scored in the 2nd half. - he was getting into the lane, which we tried to prevent but once he gets in there and he goes up a level and then another level and there's not too much you can do about it.
One player who was missing for the Wildcats was the team's leading scorer Kevin Coble. An Update?
BC: I had expected for him to be able to give it a shot today but he couldn't change direction at all so we'll just have to wait and see. I'm hopeful Wednesday against Ohio State but I'm not going to count on it.
NU heads to Columbus next for a game Wednesday with the Ohio State Buckeyes at 7 PM on ESPN+

Bill Carmody's Post Game comments [in italics] are taken from the WGN Post Game Show
-- are based on questions from Dave Eanet & Bob Hildebrand and may have been edited for clarity.
Official Game Statistics from nusports.com

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Story (c) 2006 by PurpleWildcats.com/Purple Reign
Interview comments (c) 2006 by  WGN Radio

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