MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Alando Tucker made himself right home in
his first start of the season for Wisconsin.
Tucker, who played a reserve role in his first two games after
returning from a broken foot, scored 12 of his 17 points in the
second half in the No. 22 Badgers' 63-59 victory over No. 23
Marquette on Saturday.
"I think he gave us a big boost," guard Devin Harris said.
"His presence on the court makes the team feel a little more
Harris added 15 points to help the Badgers (7-1) overcame poor
shooting and a slow start to win their 19th straight home game.
Travis Diener hit four 3-pointers and scored 19 points to lead
Marquette (7-2) in the 110th meeting between the schools.
Tucker played 31 minutes in his third game back from the injury.
He scored five points in the final 1:17, including a free throw
with 7 seconds left that gave Wisconsin a four-point lead.
"His timing is coming back and he's going to be OK," Wisconsin
coach Bo Ryan said.
Tucker was 7-for-11 as the Badgers enjoyed a huge advantage from
the free-throw line. Wisconsin was 22-of-32 from the line, while
Marquette was just 6-of-9.
"That's an awful big discrepancy," said Marquette coach Tom
Crean, whose team had 23 fouls to Wisconsin's 12. "It's hard to
win anywhere when the free-throw difference is that (big)."
Wisconsin struggled from the floor, shooting just 39 percent
overall and 1-of-12 from behind the 3-point line. Marquette was
9-of-18 from 3-point range. But the Badgers had just seven
turnovers to Marquette's 14 and made more plays down the stretch.
"It's going to be a game of runs. It's going to be a game of
mistakes. The team that makes the fewest usually is going to come
out on top," Crean said.
Tucker scored with 45 seconds left to push Wisconsin's lead to
Marquette's Scott Merritt hit a free throw with 33 seconds
remaining to cut Wisconsin's lead to two and the Golden Eagles
regained possession after a scramble for the rebound.
But Merritt was called for traveling with 22.4 seconds left and
Freddie Owens' free throw with 21.2 seconds remaining stretched
Wisconsin's lead to 62-59.
After a timeout, Marquette's Steve Novak missed a 3-pointer with
13 seconds left and Tucker grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made
a free throw to make it 63-59.
"I was pretty much wide open," said Novak, who had 12 points.
"It just didn't fall that time."