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Northwestern upsets No. 14 Wisconsin 65-56
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 night.
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 united.”
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 34-34 tie.
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.
By John R. Bolton
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