Sunday, February 24, 2008

Climbing the ladder: Wisconsin 58, Ohio State 53

And just like that, the Badgers sit alone atop the Big Ten. Sure, they've played one game more than Indiana and Purdue, but the numbers don't lie: while the Badgers are 13-2, the rest of the conference is playing catch-up.

It wasn't an easy victory, nor was it necessarily pretty. The Badgers coughed up a dozen turnovers during the first half and went one-for-seven from the field in the last six minutes of the game. But that one shot was an emphatic dunk courtesy of Marcus Landry with 12.7 seconds to go that put the Badgers up by five and the game on ice, and in the second half Wisconsin took care of its turnover problem, giving the ball away to the Buckeyes just twice.

Even without a true superstar on the team, the Badgers continue to find a way to win. Today, Jason Bohannon came off the bench and scored sixteen points. Brian Butch got in early foul trouble but came back with two tremendous blocks in the late going. Marcus Landry and Michael Flowers scored in the double digits. And -- most importantly -- the team played through its turnovers to keep things even at halftime and made a second-half adjustment. That was enough to win the ballgame.

Up next, what should be the last tough game before the conference tournament: a visit from the Spartans on Thursday.