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Jan. 24, 2001%^$%^$

%^$%^$Box Score%^$%^$%^$%^$

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By ARNIE STAPLETON
%^$AP Sports Writer
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MADISON, Wis. – Ohio State coach Jim O’Brien didn’t quite know what to%^$make of his team’s 57-42 loss to No. 15 Wisconsin on Wednesday night.%^$

“I don’t know if it was two inept offensive teams or two exceptional%^$defensive teams,” O’Brien said. “You can put your own spin on it.”%^$

Badgers coach Brad Soderberg didn’t hesitate.%^$

“Well, actually, 57 points is not inept for us,” Soderberg said. “We’ve%^$been down that road.”%^$

Roy Boone led the low-scoring Badgers (12-4, 3-3 Big Ten) with 13 points%^$despite 4-of-13 shooting and Brian Brown was the Buckeyes’ leading scorer with%^$14 points even though he misfired on 12 of 15 shots.%^$

“That was your typical Big Ten battle,” Badgers point guard Mike Kelley%^$said. “I don’t think it was dirty. You saw a low-scoring game, but you also%^$saw a game in which every guy gave his all.”%^$

The Buckeyes (12-7, 3-4) shot just 25 percent (11-of-44) and made just two%^$field goals over the final 10 minutes. Ken Johnson scored just two points, more%^$than 10 below his average.%^$

But the Badgers were bothered by Johnson, the nation’s premier shot blocker%^$who had three big blocks Wednesday night and altered Wisconsin’s usual game%^$plan.%^$

“Just his presence alone alters the game,” Wisconsin forward Mark Vershaw%^$said. “Some of my moves I couldn’t make because I knew if I got by my guy, he%^$was standing right there in the lane.”%^$

Ready to send another shot into the seats.%^$

The Buckeyes had no handy excuse for their meager offense except to credit%^$the Badgers’ unmerciful defense.%^$

“They are an exceptionally good defensive team,” O’Brien said.%^$

The Badgers won for the 10th straight time at home and handed the Buckeyes%^$their first loss in four trips to the Kohl Center. The Buckeyes were the last%^$Big Ten school to win at Kohl, where Wisconsin is 32-10 since it opened three%^$years ago this month.%^$

Ohio State also had won five straight over Wisconsin, which got 10 points%^$from Kirk Penney, the only other player for either team to reach double%^$figures.%^$

The Buckeyes went the first 7:37 without a basket, but the Badgers would go%^$more than eight minutes between points themselves before emerging with a 22-18%^$halftime lead.%^$

Together, the teams missed 28 of their first 34 shots, including 13 of 15%^$from 3-point range. Wisconsin missed its first nine attempts from beyond the%^$arc until Ricky Bower’s 3-pointer with 3:53 left in the half gave Wisconsin a%^$10-9 lead, eliciting some mock applause.%^$

“Everyone in the gym knew I should bring Bower in. We couldn’t make%^$anything,” Soderberg said.%^$

Boone’s shooting woes even extended to the foul line, where he bricked his%^$first attempt, ending a streak of 25 straight successful free throws,%^$seventh-best in school history.