December 3, 2009

Badgers shock Blue Devils

MADISON - Duke's [/db]Kyle Singler[/db] kept the Blue Devils in the game against a hot shooting Wisconsin team in front of an electric crowd in the opening half. But UW's Trevon Hughes sealed the 73-69 upset win with his play in the second half during Wednesday night's thrilling Big Ten/ACC Challenge game.

And his fellow peers greeted him for an impromptu celebration as thousands of students rushed the floor like an ecstatic stampede.

"Make sure I stay up," Hughes, who finished with 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting said jokingly after the game. "I didn't want to get trampled. I was worried for J-Bo (Jason Bohannon) because it looked like he took a spill. But it was fun. It was good for the fans."

It was good for the Big Ten and Wisconsin as well because the Badgers win over the Blue Devils sealed the league's first ever triumph in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge and also handed Duke it's first ever loss in the event.

"First of all congratulations to Wisconsin," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said following the loss. "I thought they played a magnificent game, a real veteran game. I thought they were the team deserving of winning for the 40 minutes.

"For 40 minutes, I thought they were really good."

The Badgers jumped out to an early 12-5 lead against Duke by hitting each of their first five shots, including two shots from distance, a deep jumper from Hughes and a Bohannon lay-up.

With the quick start, Wisconsin never let Duke capture the lead for the entirety of the game, although they were never out of the Blue Devils reach. It seemed every time the Badgers would pull away, Duke would storm back within a couple of points.

"We figured we just had to shorten the game," UW head coach Bo Ryan said following the win. "We had to just make that clock just tick away. They're just too good offensively. We just figured the fewer possessions we could give them in the end…it wasn't like we were trying to hold on at all, we're trying to get to the free throw line, a lay-up or a power move.

"Fortunately we did shorten the game because they found their shooting touch after going a seven or eight minute period without a field goal."

When Hughes hit a three pointer with just over five minutes to play, he gave his team an 11-point edge. With a raucous Kohl Center crowd, Duke could have run away with its tail between its legs, but instead, as many knew it would, the Blue Devils responded.

A quick 11-2 run over the next three-plus minutes brought Duke right back within striking distance. At one point, Duke had the ball down two and had an opportunity to tie or take the lead.

Instead Singler, who finished with a game-high 28 points, was blocked by Ryan Evans and UW covered the loose ball. From there, the Badgers hit 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the scintillating victory.

"I'm really happy for our guys, students and fans to get a game here like this and to deliver," Ryan said. "Our guys delivered."

Post-game notes:

-With the win, Wisconsin is now 62-5 in non-conference home games under Bo Ryan. UW also improves to 5-6 in Big Ten/ACC Challenge games and 3-1 in home games during the event.

-The Badgers have beaten four straight ACC opponents for the first time ever with consecutive wins over Virginia Tech, Florida State, Maryland and Duke.

-With the loss, Duke suffered its first ever defeat in Challenge play.

-The win was the first time Wisconsin beat a top-10 team since beating No. 9 Texas in December of 2007. And it was the first time UW beat a top-five team since beating Ohio State in January of 2007.

-Over the past eight seasons, UW has started each campaign with a 5-1 record or better.

-At home under Bo Ryan, UW is now 123-10, good for the fifth-highest winning percentage in college basketball over that span.

Post-game quotes:

-Coach Krzyzewski on UW's offense:

"They are patient. That's how they win. That's what the swing offense is. The swing offense is not about one dribble and a shot. It's about a lot of guys touching the ball. You have to communicate really well against it and play passing lanes well. Their offense just beat our defense, especially early on which gave them even more confidence.

"The zone helped for us a little bit as far as changing the rhythm for a while. Hughes hit a big three from NBA range against it. Their offense was better than our defense."

-Coach Ryan on UW's efficiency with 17 assists to only five turnovers:

"That's five opportunities that you didn't get a shot at the basket. They had 11 opportunities where they don't get a chance to score. It might have been the difference in the game. You never know one statistic from one game to the other, but I always liked the statistic of not giving the other team the ball without getting a shot at the rim.

"So five turnovers tells you when you're playing a good defensive team like Duke, a very good defensive team that can pressure and are athletic, (to) only turn it over five times, that's what you have to do to win by a couple of possessions."

-Hughes on having fun during the game:

"The key word was fun. We had to stay loose and have fun out there. If we were all tight and stuff out there we would probably not play our game. In the first five minutes of the game, we all were calm and knocking open shots down. For two senior guards to be out there and show that they're calm, cool and collected, it trickles down to the whole team."

-Keaton Nankivil on UW's offensive rebounding:

"It's something that coach stresses a lot. Offensive rebounds can be a game changing type of thing. Tonight they were and it comes from all five guys. Even the guards were in there and hitting the glass when they could. It kind of deflates the other team when they can get the ball back and make something out of it."

-Jordan Taylor on staying level after a big win:

"I think part of coach Ryan's job is to keep us level as well as coach us. I'm sure he'll be right back in there tomorrow and he'll be hounding us. I'm sure he's just as happy as we are to win the game, but he knows what we've got to do and he knows that we've got another tough opponent coming on Saturday."

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