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Triple threat: Gasser powers Badgers to rout of Northwestern



Jan. 23, 2011

18 Wisconsin 78, Northwestern 46
Welsh-Ryan Arena • Evanston, Ill.
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1st 2nd Final
 Wisconsin (15-4, 5-2) 45 33 78
 Northwestern (13-6, 3-5)
26 20 46
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Josh Gasser: 10 Pts, 12 Reb, 10 Ast
 • Jon Leuer: 19 Pts, 2 Reb, Ast, 8-10 FG
 • Jordan Taylor: 14 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 5-9 FG
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage
.554 .415
 3-Point FG Percentage .462 .200
 FT Percentage .800 .769
 Offensive Rebounds
10 3
 Defensive Rebounds 22 15
 Total Rebounds 32 18
22 9
 Points off Turnovers 11 0
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EVANSTON, Ill. -- It took Josh Gasser 19 games to do something no one else in the history of Wisconsin men's basketball had accomplished.

The freshman guard put together the first triple-double in UW's 113-year school history -- and the first by a Big Ten freshman since 1977 -- on Sunday, leading the No. 17/18 Badgers to an impressive 78-46 win over Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Gasser finished with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as the Badgers (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten) won their third-straight game and claimed victory for the fourth time in their last five trips to Evanston.

He had all 10 of his points -- and seven assists -- before halftime.

"I never once expected that would ever happen," Gasser said of accomplishing the hallowed feat. "So, for that to happen in a game that we won, it's that much better.

"It's a great feeling, especially when we got the 'W.'"

 Fast Facts
• Gasser records first triple-double in school history
• Five players finish in double-figure scoring
• Badgers finish with 22 assists against 3 turnovers

The triple-double is the first by a Big Ten freshman since Magic Johnson accomplished the feat for Michigan State as a rookie in 1977. It's also the first by any Big Ten player in a conference game since 2001.

Gasser was one of five Badgers to finish in double-figure scoring. Senior Jon Leuer poured in 17 points in the second half to finish with a game-high 19, while Keaton Nankivil had 16 points, Jordan Taylor added 14 and Mike Bruesewitz chipped in 10.

Taylor also had four assists and Tim Jarmusz dished out three more as the Badgers finished with 22 total assists -- matching their season-high total -- against just three turnovers.

The performance gave UW its seventh game with five or fewer turnovers this season. Northwestern entered the game forcing an average of 14.8 turnovers per game.

The Badgers also dominated on the glass, posting a decisive 32-18 edge in rebounding -- the fewest boards allowed since out-rebounding Prairie View A&M, 55-16, in the season-opener.

UW has now out-rebounded the Wildcats in each of the last nine meetings.

After pulling down his 10th rebound of the day, Gasser stood just one assist shy of hitting double digits in that category, too.

He came close to history twice, including one that set up a Brett Valentyn 3-point attempt that went halfway down the cylinder before spinning back out.

Valentyn made up for the missed opportunity minutes later.

"Brett told me he'd make the next one," Gasser said.

And he did, splashing a trey from the wing with 3 minutes to go that provided assist No. 10.

"We had a couple of buses that came down and about 100 people from Port Washington
(Wis.) sitting up there," he said. "To do it in front of them made it that much better."

The Badgers were hot from the start, cashing in on 62 percent of their shots and going 7-for-13 from 3-point range in the first half. That staked UW to a 45-26 lead at intermission, as the Badgers posted their second-best first-half scoring total of the year.

Things didn't cool off much after halftime, as UW continued to build a lead that swelled to 39 points midway through the second half. That came largely on the back of Leuer, who scored 15 of the Badgers' first 20 points of the period.

In addition to Leuer's scoring flurry out of halftime, the Badgers clamped down defensively.

UW didn't allow a Northwestern field goal for the first 3 1/2 minutes of the period. Then, after John Shurna hit a jumper at the 16:21 mark, Wisconsin held the Wildcats scoreless over the next 6 minutes on the way to a 69-30 lead.

The Badgers finished the game shooting at a 55.4-percent clip and hit 46.2 percent of their shots from distance.

Meanwhile, UW held Northwestern to 41.5-percent shooting from the field and allowed just two 3-pointers. The Wildcats' previous season-low scoring total was 62 points.

It all added up to a 32-point margin of victory, matching the Badgers' largest-ever a Big Ten road game. UW also downed Indiana by a score of 78-46 last season.

The Badgers' 78 points also are the most by a UW team against Northwestern since a 97-73 win on Jan. 28, 1995.

Both teams came out of the gates hot, but the Badgers finished the first half on a surge.

A 3-pointer by Nankivil pushed UW's advantage to 12 points with 6:35 to go in the half, and Taylor splashed a triple of his own three minutes later to make it a 16-point edge.

The lead was 17 when Jarmusz drained a trey with 1:16 remaining in the half, and a layup by Gasser pushed it to 19 with just five seconds left before intermission.

Gasser (10), Taylor (11) and Nankivil (10) all hit double-digits before halftime, and the Badgers never looked back.

Wisconsin now has six days to prepare for the second game of its short road swing, with a date at Penn State set for 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Big Ten Network will carry the game live.

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