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Texas Two-Step: Badgers upset by 10th-seeded Longhorns

2000 NCAA Tournament
Game Photo
Texas 10 Texas 71, 7 Wisconsin 58
Civic Arena • Pittsburgh, Pa. • Attendance: 17,300

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1st 2nd Final
33 38 71
24 34 58
 Statistical Leaders
 • Sam Okey: 17 Pts, 10 Reb, 7-10 FT
 • Paul Grant: 16 Pts, 4 Reb, 8-10 FT 
 • Ty Calderwood: 9 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 3-6 3FG
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .412 .391
 3-Point FG Percentage .200 .214
 FT Percentage .828 .655
 Rebounds 34 35
 Turnovers 14 17
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March 14, 1997

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Shaken by defensive pressure and shelled by a 31-point effort frm Texas' Reggie Freeman, the University of Wisconsin saw its charmed basketball season end in chaos on Friday.

The Badgers second NCAA tournament appearance in a half-century resulted in a 71-58 loss to Texas in the first round of the East Regional at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena.

"We've been living on borrowed time for a long while," UW head coach Dick Bennett said. "Sometimes, you forget that you've got to be good. You can't be lucky all the time."

 Fast Facts
• Sam Okey tallied double-double (17 pts., 10 reb.)
• UW fell behind 15-3 just over 5 mins into game
• Badgers cut Texas' lead to 7 pts twice

The Badgers buckled early under the Longhorns' trapping defense

"It was important for us to jump on them and rattle them," Texas head coach Tom Penders said. "We were able to get steals and transition buckets and get them feeling they couldn't attach the pressure."

Just under a half-minute into the game, UW was called for a 10-second backcourt violation, the first of 11 first-half turnovers.

Wisconsin was handicapped without point guard Ty Calderwood in the starting lineup, punishment for showing up several minutes late to the Badgers' team dinner on Thursday,

Although Bennett said Calderwood's presence would have made a difference early, Texas' Freeman contended it didn't matter who ran the point for the Badgers.

"We came out and put presure on them," Freeman explained. "We wanted to get them out of their sets and stay in front of them on defene in order to force them into doing things they are not used to."

The Longhorns took a 17-5 lead in the first 6:17 on a pair of free throws by guard Brandy Perryman. The Badgers were never able to find a defensive answer for Freeman's size and penetration, and allowed him to score more points against Wisconsin than any opposing player this season.

After trailing, 33-24, at the half, UW trimmed Texas' lead to 40-32 with 17:31 left following a dunk by Paul Grant. But Texas resisted Wisconsin's efforts to climb back into the game. Seven times during the second half, Wisconsin came within eight points but could never summon enought offense to come closer.

"We were on the verge of recovering six or eight tmes and never got the play that would get us back into the game," Bennett said.

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