UW Health Sports Medicine 

Lucas at Large: Gasser's hustle saves win for UW

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As a high school quarterback, Josh Gasser recognized the importance of ball-security. Especially when the football was on the turf.

Wednesday night, Gasser responded to a loose ball, a basketball, like a QB diving on a fumble. Because of his hustle and effort, he saved a possession.

It was not just any possession, either.

It came with 8.7 seconds left in overtime and the Badgers were protecting a 61-59 lead over Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"I was on the weak side of the shot, so I knew I'd have a chance to get the rebound,'' Gasser said. "At that time of the game, a loose ball is crucial.

"I went for it, missed, and then I just dove on it, and people were diving on me. I got a little bump on my forehead. But I was just glad we got the timeout.''

UW coach Bo Ryan identified Gasser's play as one of "four or five big difference-makers as far as when plays were made and we really needed them.''

Following the timeout, Gasser inbounded to Jordan Taylor who was whacked in the head while he was going up to make the catch, not unlike a receiver.

Terry Wymer was the official closest to the play and he signaled traveling on Taylor. "I saw him get undercut,'' Gasser said. "And there was no way he could have traveled because he didn't have possession of the ball.''

Taylor hit the floor very hard. "I thought I got fouled,'' he said.

But he added, "I was surprised when they overturned.''

Gene Steratore was the official who saw that Taylor got fouled and after consulting with Wymer, the traveling was washing out and the foul was called.

If you're a pro football fan, you might have recognized Steratore. Since 2006, he has been a referee in the National Football League.

Last season, he was the referee for the season opener between the Bears and the Lions that revolved around Calvin Johnson's apparent touchdown catch.

Steratore reviewed the play and overturned the TD call - ruling that it was an incomplete pass because Johnson had not completed the process of a catch.

Steratore was also the referee for a Dolphins-Steelers game last season that ended in controversy over a Ben Roethlisberger fumble on the goal line.

In the first half Wednesday night, Gasser made a desperation heave that replays showed beat the shot clock. But it was ruled that he got it off too late.

Officials can review shot clock violations at the start of each half and overtime. So while it looked like they whiffed, they couldn't go to the monitor.

All in all, what did Ryan like about what he saw in the overtime win?

"I like our grit when things were disjointed (in the first half),'' he said. "We didn't get out of what we do, and that's what saved us.''

One of the contributors was Brett Valentyn who hit a huge 3-pointer with 6:48 left that pulled the Badgers to within one possession of the Hawks.

"Brett is always ready,'' Ryan said. "He's an intelligent player who has been waiting for some chances (to play) and he took advantage of this one tonight.''

Now the Badgers can get ready for No. 1 ranked Ohio State.

"Can't wait,'' said Tim Jarmusz, echoing the sentiments of his teammates.

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Does anyone else agree that the shot gasser made from nearly half court should have counted