No. 20 Wisconsin 72, Marquette 63

BY foxsports • December 17, 2009

Sweet-shooting big man Jon Leuer delivered again - and this time, No. 20 Wisconsin didn't stumble against an in-state rival.

Leuer had 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Badgers to a 72-63 victory over Marquette on Saturday night.

It was career victory No. 200 at Wisconsin for Bo Ryan and the second straight big scoring performance by Leuer for the Badgers (7-2), who jumped into the Top 25 after beating Duke last week - only to lose at Wisconsin-Green Bay on Wednesday despite getting a career-high 26 points from Leuer.

``That one definitely stung,'' Leuer said. ``We wanted to get that taste out of our mouth.''

Lazar Hayward had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Marquette (7-3), which has lost three of its last four games after getting off to a better-than-expected start to what is supposed to be a rebuilding season.

Wisconsin snapped a two-game losing streak to its rival and now leads the all-time series 63-53.

Ryan was hesitant to publicly take credit for Wisconsin win No. 200 afterward - or any of the other 199, for that matter.

``I'm a pretty lucky guy,'' Ryan said. ``But you've got to remember, I didn't make a basket in those 200, and I haven't guarded anyone in those 200.''

Hayward said the Golden Eagles can learn from the loss.

``When we're able to play defense and stack stops together, we're a great team,'' Hayward said. ``But when we're not, we can't win.''

Marquette coach Buzz Williams said his team was too frantic early, falling into a hole they could never quite climb out of.

``We did not handle the excitement in the right way initially,'' Williams said.

Williams knew Leuer would be a tough matchup for his undersized team going into Saturday's game, and he walked away even more impressed with the 6-foot-10 forward.

``I think he's a pro,'' Williams said.

The already-heated rivalry between Wisconsin and Marquette has intensified in the past year after current Madison high school star Vander Blue, a former teammate of current Golden Eagles freshman Jeronne Maymon, committed to Marquette after initially indicating he would go to Wisconsin.

Maymon was booed by Badgers fans when he entered the game early in the first half.

But no matter who they were playing Saturday, guard Trevon Hughes said the Badgers were determined to come out with more energy against an in-state rival after looking flat in their loss to Green Bay.

``It was lack of focus,'' Hughes said. ``We overlooked Green Bay.''

Ryan said the Badgers didn't spend too much time basking in the win over Duke or hanging their heads about the loss to Green Bay.

``We never dwell too much, whether we take a bump or get the 'W,''' Ryan said.

The Golden Eagles appeared to be on the verge of getting blown out at several points in the game, but managed to hang around. A late scoring surge wasn't enough to get them the lead.

Trailing by 11 points with less than 5 minutes left in the game, Marquette made a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 65-61 on a 3-pointer by Maurice Acker with 2:12 left. But Hughes and Jordan Taylor both made two free throws, putting the Badgers safely ahead by eight.

``We could never get over the hump,'' Williams said.

Wisconsin shot 33 free throws to Marquette's 21, but couldn't take advantage of some of their opportunities at the line in the second half, hitting 13 of 22 free throws.

``You can't let a team attempt 33 free throws,'' Williams said.

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