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Badgers' run ends in Big Ten title game

Game Photo
Wisconsin Ohio State 50, 4 Wisconsin 43
2013 Big Ten Tournament - Championship
United Center • Chicago • Attendance: 20,560

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1st 2nd Final
24 19 43
 Ohio State
25 25 50
 Statistical Leaders
 • Traevon Jackson: 10 Pts, 3 Reb 4-10 FG
 • Sam Dekker: 8 Pts, 3 Reb 3-6 FG
 • Ryan Evans: 6 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast 3-9 FG
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .383 .385
 3-Point FG Percentage .167 .063
 FT Percentage .500 .750
 Offensive Rebounds 5 12
 Defensive Rebounds 23 27
 Total Rebounds 28 39
 Turnovers 8 9
 Bench Pts 13 7
 Pts Off Turnovers 11 6
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March 16, 2013

CHICAGO -- Wisconsin earned an appearance in the 2013 Big Ten Tournament championship game by sticking to what it does best: defending and taking care of the ball.

Locked in a battle of wills with Ohio State, the Badgers were not only competing against their third AP top-10 ranked team in as many games, but they were also fighting attrition and fatigue.

Wisconsin was unable to win either battle, as UW fell, 50-43, to the Buckeyes in the Big Ten final.

Traevon Jackson scored 10 points for the Badgers (23-11), who shot 38.3 percent from the field. None of his teammates reached double figures, with Sam Dekker next up at eight points.

 Fast Facts
• Game saw seven ties and 10 lead changes
• UW played third AP top 10 team in as many days
• Jackson and Evans earn all-tournament team

"It's a disappointment," senior Ryan Evans said. "We definitely wanted to leave here with some hardware, but moving forward, we've got the NCAA tournament. It's a bigger thing, and I'm looking forward to that."

Wisconsin and Ohio State were close for most of the second half, but the Buckeyes seized on a cold spell by the Badgers to move in front down the stretch.

After Dekker scored on a reverse layup with 7:01 remaining, Wisconsin went scoreless for the next 4 1/2 minutes while LaQuinton Ross stepped up for Ohio State. He had a strong offensive rebound and putback, then converted a layup to make it 47-41 with 2:39 to go.

"I thought Q was tremendous," Thad Matta said. "He did have a couple of timely field goals for us, a couple big rebounds. That's what we need from LaQuinton at that spot."

Jackson made two free throws to stop the scoring drought for the Badgers, who forced a shot clock violation on the other end. But Ben Brust missed a long 3-pointer and Thomas went 3 for 4 at the line in the final minute.

Dekker's basket was Wisconsin's last field goal of the game.

"I think down the stretch we talked to each other and said, `Hey, shots might not be falling, but our defense is going to win us this game,"' Craft said, "and whether it was forcing a questionable shot or grabbing a big rebound, that's how you win big basketball games, and that's what we have to tip our hat on, and we were able to do that tonight."

Wisconsin advanced to the final with a pair of impressive victories over No. 6 Michigan and third-ranked Indiana, while Ohio State beat Nebraska handily and edged No. 8 Michigan State to reach the title game for the fifth consecutive season.

The Badgers outrebounded the Hoosiers by five in their semifinal, but the Buckeyes enjoyed a 39-28 advantage on the glass and a 13-4 difference in second-chance points. Lenzelle Smith Jr. had eight rebounds and Thomas finished with seven.

"We got beat physically inside a little bit, so I think that told a lot on the offensive glass," Badgers coach Bo Ryan said.

Thomas scored 17 points for Ohio State. Sam Thompson added eight points for the Buckeyes, who have won eight straight and nine of 10.

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