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Free throws enable Badgers to upset Ohio State

The Associated Press


Friday, February 08, 2002

MADISON, Wis. – For once, Devin Harris could smile about missing a shot.

Breaking out of a slump, Harris made five free throws over the final 19 seconds of overtime, then clanked one on purpose to prevent another miracle comeback as Wisconsin beat No. 16 Ohio State 94-92 Wednesday night.

”I politely asked him to miss the last one,” said Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, who noted that Ohio State was calling for a timeout as soon as the ball left Harris’ hands with 0.6 seconds left.

By the time Boban Savovic – whose 3-pointer had sent the game into overtime – came down with the miss, the buzzer had gone off.

Harris acknowledged he was instructed to miss his last free throw.

”I had a little help. I heard a couple suggestions,” he said with a smile. ”I just concentrated on making the first one. The second one I thought was going in, but it got the back of the rim a bit.”

Fellow freshman Mike Wilkinson was 13-of-16 from the free throw line, including making four in the final minute of regulation, for a career-high 19 points in the highest-scoring game ever at the 4-year-old Kohl Center.

So did Harris, who finished with 10 points, the first double-digit performance by the Badgers’ second-leading scorer in four games.

Ohio State coach Jim O’Brien said the Buckeyes didn’t pick out the freshmen to foul.

”I firmly believe the clock is your enemy more than who’s shooting and if you start trying to be a little bit selective I think sometimes you lose a little too much time,” O’Brien said.

Wisconsin (13-11, 6-5 Big Ten) was 36-of-46 from the line with Harris going 8-for-10 and Charlie Wills 9-of-11.

Wills, a senior, scored a career-high 21 points, as did Kirk Penney as the Badgers won for the ninth time in 10 games at the Kohl Center.

The Buckeyes (17-4, 8-2), beginning their first four-game road trip in conference play since 1948-49, fell into a tie with idle Indiana atop the Big Ten.

Brent Darby had 22 points for Ohio State and Savovic added 17, including a wide-open 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left in regulation that capped a 10-point second-half comeback.

Zach Williams then blocked Harris’ desperation shot from just past halfcourt, sending the game into overtime.

Harris made two free throws with 19 seconds left in overtime to break an 89-89 tie. After Brian Brown missed on a drive and Terence Dials misfired on the tip, Harris got the loose ball and was fouled with 10 seconds left. He made both free throws for a 93-89 lead.

But Brown hit a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left, and Harris was fouled as he tried to break free down the sideline.

The Buckeyes led 39-38 at halftime and Savovic’s bucket gave them their biggest lead at 47-43 before the Badgers used a 17-3 run, led by Penney’s eight points, to take a 60-50 lead with 11 minutes remaining.