Koenig keys run as No. 6 Badgers beat No. 23 Buckeyes 72-48
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Frank Kaminsky scored 20 points and Bronson Koenig touched off a 16-0 second-half run with two 3-pointers to lead No. 6 Wisconsin to a 72-48 victory over No. 23 Ohio State on Sunday night.
The Badgers (28-3, 16-2) had already clinched the Big Ten regular-season title and top seed in the conference tournament. They tied a school record for league wins while extending the best start in school history.
Koenig had 15 points and Nigel Hayes 10 for Wisconsin, winners of three in a row and 13 of 14.
D’Angelo Russell had 17 points for the Buckeyes (22-9, 11-7), who had a three-game win streak ended. The student section chanted "One more year!" to the freshman — widely expected to go in the top few picks of the NBA draft — in the final minute.
The loss was coach Thad Matta’s first in March at Ohio State after going 13-0.
Down by as many as 17 points, the Buckeyes pulled to 46-39 on a 9-0 run with Russell scoring the first six points and then passing inside to Jae’Sean Tate, who finished with 13, for a three-point play.
But on consecutive possessions — the Badgers had three offensive rebounds on the second one — Koenig hit huge 3-pointers from the same spot on the left wing from in front of the Wisconsin bench.
After Ohio State missed a shot, Koenig drove the lane to make it 54-39 and push the Buckeyes back to arm’s length again.
Dekker and Kaminsky each added two more baskets to complete the 16-0 run that took more than 5 minutes and finally ended when Russell hit a jumper with 7:12 left. The Buckeyes never threatened again.
The Badgers controlled both ends while building a 37-23 halftime lead.
An 12-3 run gave Wisconsin an early edge. Dekker had baskets on a drive and a slash through the lane, Hayes and Koenig hit 3s and Kaminsky chipped in with a post move in the uprising.
Ohio State came out cold, with seemingly every shot contested. The Buckeyes were just 8 of 28 from the field (29 percent) by halftime and never led after the first two points.
Duje Dukan, averaging 4.6 points a game, gave Wisconsin a lift with seven points in a 2 -minute span.
Wisconsin: April could be a huge month for coach Bo Ryan and the Badgers — if, of course, March is also a successful month.
Ryan is one of 12 finalists for induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame. The class of 2015 will be announced on April 6 — the same day as the national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Ohio State: Matta fell short in an attempt to become Ohio State’s winningest coach. He came in tied with Hall of Famer Fred Taylor with 297 wins.
The late Taylor was 297-158 (.653) in 18 seasons from 1959-76, winning the 1961 national championship with a team led by Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek. Matta came into the game with a mark of 297-91 (.765) in 11 years at Ohio State. His teams have averaged 27 wins a year.
But now he’ll have to wait until the Big Ten Tournament to possibly end the tie.
Wisconsin: The Badgers play the winner of No. 8-seeded Illinois and No. 9 Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday at noon at United Center in Chicago.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes, seeded sixth, meet the winner of 14th-seeded Rutgers and either Northwestern or Minnesota at 9 p.m. on Thursday night.