Tue. Final: UW 60, Idaho State 58
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Less than two minutes into the second of his team's game against Idaho State Tuesday night, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan called a time-out to admonish his players for not hustling after two loose balls.
The lesson paid impressive dividends.
Badgers seniors Joe Krabbenhoft and Marcus Landry got their hands on the most important loose ball of the night, breaking up a full-court inbounds pass with two seconds left to preserve a 60-58 victory over the Bengals.
Idaho State led 31-29 when Ryan called a rare early time-out with 18:22 left.
"The message was sent clearly and we got it through our heads," said Krabbenhoft, a player lauded throughout his career for his hustle. "I thought most of the loose balls after that we did a pretty good job of getting our hands on them and making hustle plays, which ended up being big in this game."
Jason Bohannon scored 18 points, including two foul shots with 8.9 seconds remaining that gave Wisconsin (7-2) a 59-55 lead.
Matt Stucki hit a 3-pointer for the Bengals (2-6) with 2.9 seconds left, and Idaho State quickly fouled Badgers point guard Trevon Hughes, who made one free throw but was whistled for a lane violation on his second attempt.
With Idaho State out of time-outs, Amorrow Morgan's inbounds pass was tipped by Krabbenhoft at the top of the key.
Landry battled Bengals' center Devidias Busma for the loose ball until the final seconds ticked off.
"It was improv," Idaho State coach Joe O'Brien said. "It wasn't a well-executed play."
Landry scored 14 points and had eight rebounds for Wisconsin, which improved to 56-4 in nonconference games at home under coach Bo Ryan.
Jon Leuer added 11 points off the bench for the Badgers.
Landry, Krabbenhoft and Leuer each hit consecutive baskets for Wisconsin to erase Idaho State's early second-half lead.
Demetrius Monroe's layup with 10 minutes left brought the Bengals back to within one at 41-40, but Trevon Hughes scored six points -- including a banked 3-pointer -- during an eight-point Badgers run.
Monroe led Idaho State with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting. The Bengals have been one basket away from a victory in four of their six losses.
Idaho State lost three consecutive games in overtime in November, including two in double-overtime. The Bengals also lost in overtime in their only previous game in Wisconsin, a 59-56 loss at Marquette in 2006.
"We get these moral victories, but they don't go very far," O'Brien said. "These close losses are getting old."
Idaho State utilized a zone defense most of the night, and Wisconsin could not make the Bengals pay by knocking down outside shots. The Badgers shot just 37.7 percent (20-of-53) from the floor, to 53.2 percent (25-of-47) for Idaho State.
But Wisconsin was able to compensate with a huge edge on the offensive glass. The Badgers pulled down 15 offensive rebounds, netting 15 second-chance points.
"There's going to be some misses," said Krabbenhoft, who corralled a game-high nine rebounds. "You've got to clean those up."
Bohannon, who entered the game shooting just 28 percent from 3-point range, hit his first two attempts from beyond the arc as the Badgers jumped out to a 12-2 lead. But he missed his next five 3-pointers, and his dry spell was contagious.
The Badgers suffered through a 1-of-12 shooting spell, including eight straight misses, as the Bengals fought their way back into the game and took a 21-20 lead on Kal Bay's 3-pointer.
Bohannon made two more 3-pointers, including one with three seconds left in the half, to help Wisconsin regain the lead going into the break.
But two quick Felix Caspari buckets gave the edge back to Idaho State before Ryan's time-out.
The game was officially announced as a sellout, Wisconsin's 106th in a row at the Kohl Center, but there were thousands of empty seats due to a winter storm that socked Madison earlier in the day.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)