Bo gets best of Izzo again

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first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoSimply put, Brian Butch was feeling it.On a night when the Badgers shot just under 39 percent from the field, the senior was able to connect on a season-high four 3-pointers to lead Wisconsin past Michigan State in a 57-42 win Thursday at the Kohl Center.?As a shooter, you just keep on shooting the ball, and at some point, it?s going to go down,? Butch said. ?It?s just one of those things where you?re glad if it goes, and you just keep on trying to shoot it if it feels good.?Behind Butch?s 16 points, the No. 10 Badgers (24-4, 14-2) were able to break open, late in the second half, what had been a close game to defeat the No. 19 Spartans (22-6, 10-5).Though Wisconsin had built a 28-22 lead at the break, the Badgers came out slow in the second half, and eight minutes into it, they had scored just four points, helping Spartans keep things close at 37-33 with 9:52 to go.?We kind of got away from getting good shots,? Butch said. ?When we don?t get shots, we?re not a good team.?The four-point lead was as close as Wisconsin would let things get, however, as the team started to find, and hit, its looks.Butch sank two late 3-pointers, Flowers added another, and by the time Trevon Hughes knocked down a trey of his own with 3:18 left, Wisconsin had built a 17-point lead and that put Michigan State away for good.?If Brian doesn?t hit those two threes, that?s probably still a three or four possession game,? Badger head coach Bo Ryan said. ?But when Brian hit those, it opened up.?Butch?s pair of second-half 3-pointers came within two minutes of each other and helped UW take an eight-point lead and turn it into a 14-point one.?We had a couple of missed assignments when Butch hit some of those threes,? Spartan head coach Tom Izzo said. ?I was disappointed because we had gone over that.?Until the last seven minutes of the game, Wisconsin hadn?t been too effective shooting the ball, but the Badgers were able to keep the Spartans at bay by turning the ball over just once all game ? a new school record.?How many times do you see a game with a team with one turnover against a team that plays pretty good defense and will get in your shots,? Ryan said. ?Statistics always speak in a loud tone, but I?ve never coached in a game where that?s happened.?The lone turnover came in the first half when Joe Krabbenhoft coughed up the ball.?We got on Joe in the locker room, his teammates did,? Ryan joked. ?He got an offensive rebound and put the ball down and it disappeared.?As unusual as UW?s protection of the ball was, the team was uncharacteristic in another way Thursday, as the game didn?t feature Wisconsin?s usual ability to get to the line. Despite averaging 21 free-throw attempts per game, the team got to the line just twice in the first half.?We know to be successful we have to get to the free-throw line,? Butch said. ?It was just one of those things where as players we have to keep on making hard cuts and keep making drives to the basket.?In the second half, Wisconsin was able to get Michigan State into the bonus just past the nine-minute mark and took a more characteristic 12 free throws in the second half that helped wear down the Spartan defense.With another school record, a 14th conference win, the Badgers also solidified their place atop the conference. Now UW is poised to take home a conference title, left with a home game against Penn State and a trip to Northwestern, the Big Ten?s bottom team.?The main thing is we?re worried about the next one, but we do realize what?s out there,? Butch said. ?We realize that we?ve got a great opportunity.?Wisconsin has six days before it welcomes Penn State to the Kohl Center, giving the team some time to get a little rest.?We haven?t had a break like that in a long time. It gives us time to prepare and heal the wounds,? Marcus Landry said. ?A break like this is always well, as long as you?re doing the right things when you?re on breaklast_img

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