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01/30/2014 12:59 AM EST
Northwestern upsets No. 14 Wisconsin 65-56
NORTHWESTERN 65, WISCONSIN 56
By GENARO C. ARMAS
AP Sports Writer
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Drew Crawford played the role of savvy
senior leader to perfection.
The Northwestern forward hit a tricky 3 off a curl in the second
half. He jumped high and made a long bucket with Wisconsin guard
Josh Gasser playing nearly flawless defense, a shot so tough
that Crawford pumped his right arm and let out a yell as he
jogged back up the court.
Crawford, a fifth-year senior, scored a season-high 30 points,
JerShon Cobb added all 10 of his points in the second half and
the Wildcats upset the 14th-ranked Badgers 65-56 on Wednesday
Northwestern first-year coach Chris Collins earned his first big
win on the road, and the Wildcats got their first victory in
Madison since 1996.
Penn State beat No. 24 Ohio State 71-70 in overtime Wednesday
night and according to the Big Ten Network this was the first
time the Nittany Lions and Wildcats won road games on the same
day since Penn State joined the conference in 1993.
But for all of the big shots made down the stretch, Northwestern
was most proud of its defense. Wisconsin shot 26 percent (15 of
57) on the night.
"Our identity is defense ... there's no question," Collins said.
"For me in basketball, defense is the time when you're most
The smooth Crawford glided around the court for tough shots -
none harder than the 3 off a curl with Gasser's hand in his face
to give Northwestern (11-11, 4-5 Big Ten) a 13-point lead.
Wisconsin (17-4, 4-4) turned up the pressure late to get within
six with 41 seconds left. But Traevon Jackson lost the ball on a
drive with 23 seconds left to seal the Badgers' fate.
Ben Brust's 21 points led Wisconsin, which lost for the fourth
time in five games.
"Once you start missing, that basket gets pretty small - and
obviously it got pretty small," coach Bo Ryan said.
After a 16-0 start to the season, defense has been a problem for
the Badgers. They had their issues again, especially during an
8-0 run in the second half by Northwestern that helped break a
But offense was the bigger problem for Wisconsin, which
uncharacteristically settled for some bad looks at times against
Northwestern's solid defense.
"Defense is where we hang our hat, that's what we work on every
day in practice," Crawford said.
He hit an off-balance layup with the shot clock winding down for
a 54-39 lead with about 3:30 left.
The Badgers used pressure to get within 62-56 after Nigel Hayes
went 1 of 2 from the foul line.
The Wildcats, though, held on from there and Jackson's turnover
Crawford finished 10 of 15 from the field and added eight
rebounds, while Tre Demps scored 10 points.
Sam Dekker finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for
Wisconsin, but was 2 of 9 from the field.
The Badgers overall finished 15-of-57 shooting, and hit more
foul shots, going 21 of 27 from the line. They were 5 of 24 from
The Wildcats got their first victory over Wisconsin overall
since 2009. It was a sharp contrast to teams' first meeting this
year, a 76-49 Badgers blowout in Evanston earlier this month.
But things have changed for Northwestern since then. The
Wildcats are 4-2 in their last six games, and had held opponents
to an average of 51 per game prior to a 76-50 loss last weekend
"In one month's time, we've become a very tough group," Collins
said. "And we've had to become tough because we've had a tough
Still for every tough shot missed, Wisconsin did have some good
looks that just didn't fall through. Ryan, overall, said he was
satisfied with the shot selection. The Badgers, though, got a
combined 5 of 18 shooting from their talented frontcourt of
Dekker and Frank Kaminsky.
After a poor start, Wisconsin but got back into rhythm briefly
to start the second after getting the ball into the lane.
Kaminsky added eight points and 10 rebounds, including two
offensive boards early in the second half that helped the
Badgers briefly get out of an offensive funk.
Kaminsky slapped an offensive rebound to a teammate in the
backcourt, then got another board on the same possession that
led to a long 3 by Brust for a six-point Wisconsin lead.
Crawford had the answers down the stretch for the Wildcats.
"Couldn't knock any shots down. Shooting percentage showed
that," Gasser said. "Northwestern was hanging around and hanging
around, and we couldn't hit enough shots to stretch the lead."
Crawford scored 10 in a first half that had Northwestern
trailing 23-22. The Badgers shot 6 of 24 (25 percent) in the
half, including an 0-for-10 stretch.
Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP
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