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December 4, 2013

Woeful on offense, Cavaliers lose

Josh Gasser scored 11 points and No. 8 Wisconsin won a defensive struggle against UVa 48-38 Wednesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, giving coach Bo Ryan his 300th victory with the Badgers.

The Badgers (9-0) extended their best start since opening 11-0 in 1993-94. They limited Virginia to 23-percent shooting (11 for 47), including a stretch of nearly 22 minutes spanning halftime in which the Cavaliers managed just three field goals. The Badgers won going away despite shooting only 29 percent (15 for 52).

London Perrantes led Virginia (7-2) with 8 points. The Cavaliers tried to make a run by speeding up the slow pace midway through the second half but came up well short.

Joe Harris, Virginia's leading scorer, finished 1 for 10 from the field with 2 points. Fellow starter Malcolm Brogdon was 1 for 7 and Anthony Gill went 1 for 3.

Harris was called for a charge after a steal with Virginia trailing 43-36, and after Gasser made a free throw for Wisconsin, the Cavaliers missed three shots from within three feet on their next trip.

Wisconsin used a 10-5 run over the last 7 minutes of the first half to lead 25-20 at the break.

The Badgers also scored the first five points of the second half as Virginia's string of missed shots stretched to 13. After Darion Atkins hit a free throw for the Cavaliers 4:23 into the second half, a putback by Frank Kaminsky and a drive by Traevon Jackson pushed Wisconsin's lead to 34-21, and Virginia took a timeout.

The Cavaliers scored seven-straight points, energizing the crowd as they closed to 37-30 on an Akil Mitchell free throw with 8:08 to play. But Ben Brust scored on a drive and Gasser's 3-pointer made it 42-30.

The Cavaliers got to 44-38 with 1:40 left but never scored again.

The Badgers shot 8 of 25 (32 percent) and Virginia went 8 of 27 (29.6 percent) in the half.

Harris, who was averaging 12.4 points per game, went 1 for 6 from the field. Gill (10.4 points per game), the Cavaliers' No. 3 scorer, played just nine minutes for defensive reasons.

The game was a rematch from last year in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, when UVa won 60-54 in Madison. This time, while Virginia's nationally ranked defense kept Wisconsin well off its 76.8-point average, the Badgers' defense and Virginia's inability to convert on offense made it ugly.



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