No. 8 Wisconsin stifles Virginia
Charlottesville, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Wisconsin one-upped Virginia's touted defense with a shutdown performance of its own as the eighth-ranked Badgers clamped down on the Cavaliers and rolled to a 48-38 victory in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The Badgers (9-0) also struggled but nevertheless put a win in the Big Ten's column by limiting Virginia to a horrid 23 percent shooting performance.
Josh Gasser led all scorers with 11 points while Frank Kaminsky added nine points and 12 rebounds to help Wisconsin continue its best start to a season since opening the 1993-94 campaign with 11 consecutive wins.
Bo Ryan also picked up his 300th win at Wisconsin, becoming just the ninth coach to win that many games at a Big Ten school.
"It's a great accomplishment and I'm glad to be a part of it," Gasser said.
Virginia (7-2) held the Badgers to 28.8 points below their season average but simply couldn't get anything going. Leading scorer Joe Harris shot 1-for-10 from the floor and London Perrantes' eight points led the team.
The Cavaliers, who had won six straight coming in, missed their first eight shots of the second half -- several right under the basket -- and found themselves in a 34-21 hole before Mike Tobey got a hook shot to fall.
That bucket came with 11:17 remaining and started a 9-3 run over the next three-plus minutes that cut the deficit to seven, but a Ben Brust layup and a deep 3-pointer from Gasser pushed Wisconsin's lead back to double digits.
Free throws accounted for every point in the final six minutes, and Wisconsin made enough down the stretch to escape John Paul Jones Arena with a win.
"It seemed like nothing was working," Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said. "I thought we lost our composure a little bit. We had some opportunities to finish, but we didn't."
Neither team led by more than five points in a tight first half even though Virginia went nearly 10 minutes without making a field goal.
Four free throws from Wisconsin in the final 1:34 gave the Badgers a 25-20 lead at the break, and it took just over 3 1/2 minutes until either side found the bottom of the net in the second half.
Sam Dekker scored inside to end the drought, and Brust canned a 3-pointer the next time down for a 30-20 Wisconsin cushion.
The ACC and Big Ten each had six wins in the Challenge for the second straight year ... Wisconsin improved to 7-8 all-time in this event, while Virginia fell to 8-6. Virginia won in Wisconsin last season ... Virginia shot 48.9 percent from the field through its first eight games ... The Cavaliers ranked third in the nation in scoring defense (53.5 ppg) coming in ... The Badgers open a four- game homestand Saturday against Marquette.
12/04 23:38:28 ET