Harris#039; shooting lifts Wisconsin over OSU

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 29, 2004

COLUMBUS - Devin Harris is piling up points and fans.

Four days after scoring a career-high 30 in a 20-point win over Illinois, Harris made five of seven 3-pointers and scored 29 points to lead No. 17 Wisconsin to a 69-57 victory over Ohio State on Wednesday night.

''If he's not the best guard in the country, he certainly has to be one of the top few,'' Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien said.

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The Badgers (14-3, 5-1) are off to their best start in the Big Ten since the 1962 team won seven of its first eight. They share the conference lead with Indiana.

Still, they had not been overpowering away from home, losing their last three.

''We've stubbled on the road, so this was a big step,'' said Harris, who made nine of 12 shots from the field and six of seven free throws in addition to recording four rebounds, four assists and five steals.

His own coach, Bo Ryan, is well aware of what Harris can do. Even he was impressed.

''He dribbled to daylight,'' Ryans said. ''He saw some openings and he did a good job of attacking the rim.''

It was a matchup of two teams headed in opposite directions. Wisconsin has won three in a row and six of seven; Ohio State (9-10, 1-5) has lost three straight and six of seven.

Not since coach O'Brien's first Ohio State team in 1997-98 lost its first 14 Big Ten games have the Buckeyes (9-10, 1-5) gotten off to a worse start in the league.

After the game, three Ohio State assistant coaches confronted a high school kid who held up a sign that read, ''The Wrong Jim O'Brien Resigned.'' The Boston Celtics' coach, also named Jim O'Brien, quit Tuesday.

''He can do what he wants,'' O'Brien said of the fan. ''But I'll tell you what he's not going to do - he's not going to put the sign right up in my face.''

J.J. Sullinger scored 14 points for Ohio State, which held a 41-24 upper hand in rebounding yet outscored the Badgers by just six points in the paint.

Ohio State led 20-18 on Terence Dials' inside shot with 9:17 left in the half, but the Buckeyes didn't hit another basket for almost five minutes. Over that time, the Badgers scored eight of nine points. Harris and Clayton Hanson hit 3-pointers and Dave Mader added a 15-foot jumper for a 26-21 lead.

''I like our guys to do it every possession,'' Ryan said. ''That's what we talk about - every possession.''

Tony Stockman's 3-pointer brought the Buckeyes to 31-27 before the Badgers ran off the final six points of the half.

''We botched the end of the first half,'' O'Brien said. ''To be down 10 was a little discouraging.''

The Badgers then hit five of their first seven shots from the field - including a layup and a fast-break dunk by Harris - to start the second half and the lead jumped to 49-29. The game never got closer than the final margin, with Ohio State scoring the final seven points of the game.

Ryan fought back tears as he spoke about legendary Wisconsin football player Elroy ''Crazy Legs'' Hirsch, who died earlier in the day at the age of 80.

''He's my dad's favorite,'' Ryan said. ''My dad talked about him all the time. It was like the biggest thing in my dad's life when I got this job - 'Do I get to meet him?' Elroy autographed a jersey for him and a picture. He was a people person, a great guy.''

No. 17 WISCONSIN 69, OHIO ST. 57



Morley 4-8 0-3 9, Wilkinson 3-4 1-2 8, Helmigk 1-3 0-0 2, Wade 3-11 0-0 6, Harris 9-12 6-7 29, Ukawuba 0-1 0-0 0, Nixon 1-4 0-0 2, Hanson 2-6 0-0 6, Taylor 0-1 0-0 0, Mader 3-4 1-2 7. Totals 26-54 8-14 69.



T.Dials 3-4 1-1 7, Radinovic 3-3 3-6 9, Sullinger 7-16 0-0 14, Fuss-Cheatham 0-4 2-4 2, Stockman 2-8 1-2 6, Harris 0-1 1-2 1, N.Dials 2-3 2-2 6, Nwankwo 1-2 0-0 3, Billings 1-5 1-2 3, Smith 0-1 2-2 2, Jenkins 1-3 2-4 4, Marinchick 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-50 15-25 57.

Halftime-Wisconsin 37-27. 3-point goals-Wisconsin 9-19 (Harris 5-7, Hanson 2-5, Wilkinson 1-1, Morley 1-2, Nixon 0-1, Wade 0-3), Ohio St. 2-9 (Nwankwo 1-2, Stockman 1-4, Sullinger 0-1, N.Dials 0-1, Billings 0-1). Fouled out-Helmigk. Rebounds-Wisconsin 24 (Morley 6), Ohio St. 41 (Jenkins 10). Assists-Wisconsin 13 (Harris, Wade 4), Ohio St. 8 (Fuss-Cheatham 3). Technical foul-Jenkins. Total fouls-Wisconsin 24, Ohio St. 19. A-13,677.