January 14, 2009

Revisiting recent UW-Minnesota battles

MADISON, Wis. - Over the span of recent years, the Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry on the hardwood has been relatively tame and one-sided. Since key Badger contributors Joe Krabbenhoft and Marcus Landry have been on campus, as well as any other player on UW's roster, Wisconsin has not lost to Minnesota going 6-0 against the Gophers since the 2005-06 season.

Before the rivalry is renewed with a much improved Gopher team tomorrow night, BadgerBlitz.com takes a stroll down memory lane and revisits every game over the past three seasons. The following are quick recaps of each tilt since the 2005-06 year.

Wisconsin at Minnesota
Jan. 10, 2006.
Final score: 64-62 Wisconsin
UW top performer(s): Alando Tucker- 22 pts, Brian Butch- 12 pts
Minnesota top performer(s): Vincent Grier- 17 pts, Rico Tucker- 17 pts, Maurice Hagrow- 12 pts

Quick recap: Playing in a hostile environment against one of UW's most fierce rivals and an injured nose were unable to slow down Alando Tucker. The junior finished with a game high 22 points and somehow connected on a very physical lay-up with just over a minute to play to give his team the lead. Then on the other end of the floor, Tucker shut down Minnesota shooter Vincent Grier to preserve the Badgers two-point win with time running down during the early conference clash.

Minnesota at Wisconsin
Feb. 26, 2006.
Final score: 80-74 Wisconsin
UW top performer(s): Alando Tucker- 22 pts, Kevin Gullickson- 12 pts, Joe Krabbenhoft and Kammron Taylor- 10 pts each
Minnesota top performer(s): Vincent Grier- 19 pts, Adam Boone- 18 pts

Quick recap: After losing Marcus Landry and Greg Stiemsma to issues off the court, the Badgers only played eight players in the rematch against the Gophers. Luckily, one of those eight was Alando Tucker as he chipped in a game high 22 points and logged four rebounds and three assists to give UW the 80-74 win.

Even with a sore ankle, the Gophers had no answer for UW's star junior as he demanded attention from Gopher defenders. That attention opened scoring opportunities for his younger teammates. Both freshmen Kevin Gullickson and Joe Krabbenhoft scored in double figures and Krabbenhoft added 10 rebounds for a double double.

Minnesota at No. 4 Wisconsin
Jan. 6, 2007.
Final score: 68-45 Wisconsin
UW top performer(s): Alando Tucker- 14 pts, Kammron Taylor- 13 pts, Michael Flowers- 11 pts
Minnesota top performer(s): Dan Coleman- 15 pts, Spencer Tollackson- 11 pts

Quick recap: As a top-five team, UW was supposed to beat the underperforming Gophers. They did by way of a 68-45 drubbing of their border rival, even with No. 6 Ohio State and Greg Oden next on the schedule. Alando Tucker was once again UW's leading scorer and fellow senior Jason Chappell added nine rebounds as the Badgers used a dominant first half (37-20) to coast to an easy 23-point win.

No. 3 Wisconsin at Minnesota
Feb. 14, 2007.
Final score: 75-62 Wisconsin
UW top performer(s): Alando Tucker- 29 pts, 9 rebs, Kammron Taylor- 12 pts, Michael Flowers- 11 pts
Minnesota top performer(s): Lawrence McKenzie- 21 pts, Spencer Tollackson, 13 pts, Dan Coleman- 12 pts

Quick recap: With the way the cards fell across the country, Wisconsin used two wins, one over Minnesota and the next over Penn State, to earn a No. 1 national ranking. After a back and forth first half that only put UW up by four at the break, a 47-point second half outburst granted the Badgers a big win at Williams Arena.

Behind Alando Tucker's 29 points, UW was able to withstand a late Minnesota run that cut the Badger lead to 57-53 near the five minute mark. But with Tucker's senior leadership, that was all the closer the Gophers would get.

No. 13 Wisconsin at Minnesota
Feb. 3, 2008
Final score: 63-47 Wisconsin
UW top performer(s):Trevon Hughes- 20 pts, Marcus Landry and Brian Butch- 11 pts each
Minnesota top performer(s): Lawrence Westbrook- 11 pts, Damian Johnson- 10 pts

Quick recap: In his first season as UW's go-to point guard, sophomore Trevon Hughes scored 20 points as UW held Minnesota to just 36 percent shooting en route to its 63-47 win.

Hughes also added six steals as he disrupted the Gopher backcourt that was in its first season under head coach Tubby Smith. Marcus Landry and Brian Butch also added double-digit scoring as the win helped UW keep pace with Purdue for the conference title.

Minnesota at No. 14 Wisconsin
Feb. 16, 2008
Final score: 65-56 Wisconsin
UW top performer(s): Marcus Landry- 12 pts, Trevon Hughes, Brian Butch, Michael Flowers and Jason Bohannon- 11 pts each
Minnesota top performer(s): Dan Coleman and Lawrence Westbrook- 10 points each

Quick recap: With the conference season winding down and UW's chances to secure the regular season crown increasing, the Badgers found ways to get to the charity stripe in its 65-56 win over the Gophers. Five UW players scored 10 or more points and the Badgers hit 25-of-33 free throws attempts including 17-of-21 in the second half to help it pull away from a feisty, upset minded Gopher squad in the second half after having a slim one-point lead at halftime.

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