UW loses Border Battle, 78-74, in OT thriller




January 13, 2009

MADISON, Wis. Wisconsin's 12-game home winning streak over Minnesota came to an end in the latest installment of the Border Battle. The Badgers lost an overtime heart-breaker to the Golden Gophers, 78-74, Thursday night at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin (12-5, 3-2) lost a 12-point lead in the final five minutes of regulation as Minnesota (16-1, 4-1) connected on two 3-point attempts in the last 19 seconds of play to send the game into overtime. The Badgers couldn't break the Gophers lead in overtime en route to their second conference loss of the season.

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Brian Mason went Beyond the Box for notes and analysis of the game.
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Minnesota crept out to a 14-8 lead early on, but a Jason Bohannon fastbreak lay-up ignited a 13-0 Wisconsin run to flip the scales. The run featured back-to-back monster dunks from Marcus Landry and Jon Leuer on the offensive end and a complete shut-down on the defensive end. The Badgers held the Gophers scoreless for 7:50 of first half.

Wisconsin would expand its lead over the rest of the first half, climbing ahead by as many as 13 points at 29-16 with 4:11 remaining. Minnesota would get within eight before a Landry 3-pointer at the buzzer put UW ahead 33-22 at the break. The Badgers had three players combine for all 33 points in the first frame with Landry (12), Bohannon (11) and Leuer (10) all reaching double figures.

The Badgers kept Minnesota at arm's length for much of the second half, building a 50-38 lead with 5:31 left to play. That was when the Gophers full-court pressure hand-cuffed Wisconsin and fueled their furious comeback. Minnesota would force four turnovers in the waning minutes and rip off 20 points in the final 4:43 of regulation.

Wisconsin still led 60-54 with 0:48 remaining, but two free throws from Lawrence Westbrook and a 3-pointers from Damian Johnson pulled the Gophers within one with 0:19 left. Joe Krabbenhoft would then knock down a pair of free throws, pushing UW ahead by three points. However, a 3-pointer by Westbrook tied the score at 62 and sent the game into overtime.

Minnesota scored the first bucket of overtime and the Badgers could never recover. A pair of Leuer free throws pulled Wisconsin within two at 74-72 with 14 seconds to go. UW was forced to foul Westbrook on the final two possessions. Westbrook, who scored a game-high 29 points, knocked down all four free throws icing the Gophers 78-74 win.

Landry was one of four Badgers to score in double figures, pacing Wisconsin with 18 points. Leuer added 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds on the night.

After a six-day lay-off Wisconsin will travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes next Wednesday, January 21 at 7:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

Comprehensive post-game coverage

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