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Taylor, Leuer lead rally in 69-60 win over Indiana



Jan. 20, 2011

18 Wisconsin 69, Indiana 60
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis.

1st 2nd Final
 Indiana (10-9, 1-5) 34
26 60
 Wisconsin (14-4, 4-2)
30 39 69
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Jordan Taylor: 28 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl
 • Jon Leuer: 20 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk
 • Keaton Nankivil: 9 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Blk
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage
.510 .490
 3-Point FG Percentage .286 .313
 FT Percentage .727 .941
 Offensive Rebounds
6 5
 Defensive Rebounds 20 21
 Total Rebounds 26 26
7 5
1 5
 Second-Half Free Throws
8-11 16-17
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MADISON, Wis.  -- Entering the season, senior Jon Leuer was a popular pick when it came to projecting candidates for postseason honors.

After Thursday, it's safe to say Leuer officially has some company in the discussion of the Big Ten's best.

Jordan Taylor removed any doubts about his candidacy by pouring in a career-high 28 points to lead the No. 17/18 Wisconsin men's basketball team back from a halftime deficit on the way to a 69-60 win over Indiana on Thursday.

Taylor, who is averaging a Big Ten-leading 22 points per game in conference play, kept the Badgers afloat with 17 in the first half and went 7-for-7 from the free throw line down the stretch to hold off a pesky Hoosiers squad.

 Fast Facts
• Taylor scores career-high 28 points, adds eight boards
• Badgers win 14th straight at the Kohl Center
• UW hits 16 of 17 free throws in second half

Leuer finished with 20 points and converted a key three-point play with 1 minute to play that effectively sealed the Badgers' seventh-straight win over Indiana (10-9, 1-5 Big Ten).

The victory was also the 14th-consecutive home win for Wisconsin (14-4, 4-2) which is 4-0 in conference play at the Kohl Center.

In addition to his career-best scoring output, Taylor pulled down eight rebounds and dished out four assists.

"It's not just that he played great tonight. He's an outstanding player," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "He defends hard, he's tough, he's strong and he's a cut above.

"There's no question he's one of the premier guards in the country."

As has been the case in all four of UW's Big Ten wins at the Kohl Center, the Badgers put the pedal down in the second half after being locked in a battle through the first 20 minutes.

Thursday, it was Hoosiers that held a 34-30 edge at intermission after shooting 60.9 percent from the field. The lead was seven before Taylor drained a 3-pointer with seconds remaining, but the four-point Indiana advantage still marked Wisconsin's largest halftime deficit of the season.

Indiana shot at a 51-percent clip for the game, a shooting pace the Badgers nearly matched at 49 percent.

With both teams cashing in from the floor, free throw shooting was key to UW's comeback. The Badgers went 16-for-17 at the stripe in the second half after failing to get to the line in the first period.

"I think we were attacking the basket more and just trying to finish at the rim instead of settling for jumpers. I know a couple of times I faded away from some shots," Leuer said. "The main thing was attacking the basket and being aggressive, and we did that."

Tim Jarmusz splashed a trey that cut Indiana's lead to 42-41 five minutes into the half, and Mike Bruesewitz then gave the Badgers their first lead since an early 2-0 advantage when he threw down a one-handed dunk and drew a foul.

Bruesewitz hit the ensuing free throw to complete the three-point play, one of five for the Badgers in the second half.

The next "and-one" opportunity gave the Badgers the lead for good, as Taylor converted a layup in transition and hit a free throw after being fouled by Indiana's Jordan Hulls.

That made it a two-point edge for the Badgers, at 50-48, and a jumper from Nankivil pushed the lead to four just over a minute later. Indiana twice drew within two points but couldn't pull even down the stretch.

The Badgers' last three-point play also proved to be the final dagger.

A pair of free throws by Verdell Jones III trimmed the lead to five with 1:32 to go, but Leuer fought through traffic and heaved up a shot that dropped despite contact from IU's Tom Pritchard.

"I knew the shot clock was winding down and I was thinking about spotting up but when I saw Jordan (Taylor) penetrate, I just thought, go to the rim and try to get an offensive rebound," Leuer said. "He made a great play to shuffle it over to me and I knew the shot clock was winding down, so I just turned and got pretty lucky and threw it up.

"I went up strong so I got fouled and luckily it banked and went in."

Pritchard was whistled for the foul and, with 1:00 showing on the clock, Leuer cashed in the free throw attempt to push the Badgers' advantage to seven at 65-58.

Nankivil and Taylor combined to go 4-for-4 from the charity stripe in the final minute, and Taylor grabbed a steal with 15 seconds left to ice UW's 10th-consecutive home win over the Hoosiers.

"We were playing from behind, but any game, whether playing with the lead or from behind is a tough game," Taylor said. "We were trying to dig in and make stops and play good defense on the other end.

"Every game is going to be physical. Jon (Leuer) made some huge shots for us down the stretch and kind of put them away, but it was a team effort."

The Badgers now head to Northwestern on Sunday seeking their first road win in Big Ten play. Tip-off in Evanston is set for 11:30 a.m., with the game airing live on Big Ten Network.

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