Hammered at the Buzzer

Lawrence Westbrook is the hero again (AP/Jim Mone)

After seeing a late lead slip away in seven of its 10 losses on the season, Wisconsin can add another tally and another gut-wrenching game to the list, seeing Badger villain Lawrence Westbrook strike the Badgers again, scoring Minnesota's last 10 points to help the Gophers best the Badgers, 51-46.

MINNEAPOLIS - Poised to pay back Minnesota for the shock it received from the Gophers roughly two months ago, Wisconsin stormed back to assume full control as the final minutes ticked down, poised to not let another close game go by the wayside.

In a similar sequel, Minnesota junior guard Lawrence Westbrook was the man in the spotlight again, snatching a victory away from Wisconsin for the second time this year.

Although it wasn't like his dagger-like three-pointer and nine points in overtime, Westbrook scored the Gophers final 10 points, six coming from the free throw line, as Minnesota (21-8, 9-8 Big Ten) stormed back for a vital 51-46 bubble win, sweeping the season series for the first time since 1991-92.

"I've seen some games in this league that have looked just like this in this league," Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. "It's hard to get easy looks and people are getting after each other."

Down one in the final seconds with 29 seconds remaining, Wisconsin (18-11, 9-8 Big Ten) got the ball to the Badgers' hottest hand – senior Marcus Landry.

Landry, after scoring only six points in the first half, went 5-for-6 in the second half, scoring 12 points to help turn an 11-point, first-half deficit into a five-point advantage with less than three minutes remaining.

On a night where Wisconsin shot 33.3 percent (15-for-45) from the field, it was Landry that pushed the Badgers to what figured to be a NCAA Tournament-clinching win.

Wisconsin took its first lead at 5:57 after Trevon Hughes (10 points) drew two defenders and did a no-look pass to Landry, who connected from the left block to give UW its first lead of the game.

After a UW stop at the other end, Landry was right there to clean up a Hughes miss, extending the Wisconsin lead to 41-38 with 5:25 remaining, finishing a stretch that saw the Badgers score 20 points on 12 possessions, 12 of which came from Landry.

But on this possession, Landry couldn't connect, but the rebound bounced to freshman and Minnesota native Jordan Taylor. Unable to put up a shot, Taylor kicked the ball out to Hughes for an immediate three. Hughes had no success either, but Wisconsin got another offensive rebound from Joe Krabbenhoft.

The luck ran out for Wisconsin there, as Krabbenhoft appeared to get pushed in the back and was unable to save the pass, resulting in the beginning of the end for the Badgers.

"On the rebound, Trevon was open for the shot and we said that we wanted to have time to rebound the miss," Ryan said. "That's why he didn't dribble it back out and run another play. We had two shots and then we had the rebound (but) Joe lost it going out of bounds."

The Badgers were forced to foul Westbrook, who got the inbounds pass with six seconds remaining on the clock, and the junior extended Minnesota's lead to 49-46.

That's as close as the Badgers could get, as Hughes saw Wisconsin's ensuing inbounds pass fly off his fingertips and out of bounds, as he and the ball went five rows deep into the arena crowd.

"I've got to catch that one," Hughes said. "I just took my eyes off it."

Added Landry: "You are giving it your all and (take) it down to the end. You've got to be mentally focused in order to do that. We let some things get away from us down the stretch that kind of cost us the game."

Two more free throws from Westbrook, an 86 percent free throw shooter that went a perfect 7-for-7 from the line, put any hopes of a comeback to bed.

"That's the guy that is going to carry you at the free throw line and he did," Ryan said.

It was a dubious finish for Hughes, who shot poorly (2-for-12) but went 5-for-6 from the free throw line and dished out four assists to help UW claw back.

"Trevon got us back in the game and got us the lead with … the way he was playing defense," Ryan said. "I know he would like to have a couple of those possessions back."

Badgers didn't break into double digits until there was four minutes, 16 seconds left in the half and Wisconsin had more than double the amount of turnovers (eight) than made shots (3-for-14, 21.4 percent from the floor).

Wisconsin's halftime total of 16 points was its lowest output since scoring 19 points against Indiana in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Big Ten Tournament.

The Badgers rebounded after halftime, shooting 40 percent in the second half and committing six turnovers, but the energy Wisconsin expended to come back proved to be too much, as UW came up empty on its final six possessions, two coming by turnovers in the final six seconds.

"The way our guys fought back, there wasn't anything going right," Ryan said. "The fact that we could come back, I don't know if we had anything left to be honest with you. At the end, the energy it took us just to get some things going, I think it took its toll at the end."

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