(Video courtesy ESPN)
Virginia beat Wisconsin at its own game, using suffocating defense, clutch 3-point shooting and physical play to claim a 60-54 win at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisc., on Wednesday.
The Cavaliers (5-2) held the Badgers (4-3) to just 38.2 percent shooting as they dominated the boards, 36-18. The physical play also paid off as the visitors converted 14 of 17 free throws, compared to Wisconsin, which connected on just 4 of 5 trips to the charity stripe.
The Badgers, who suffered their first non-conference loss in the month of November since a 65-60 loss to Marquette at the Kohl Center on Nov. 14, 1997, connected on just 8 of 22 3-pointers and struggled to create open looks late in the game.
When the game turned: The Badgers cut the second-half deficit to three points with 4:54 left, but Virginia F Darion Arkins took a pass inside from G Joe Harris and slammed home a thunderous dunk while being fouled by Wisconsin F Mike Bruesewitz. The dunk sparked a mini 7-3 run that gave the Cavaliers a 57-50 lead with under a minute remaining and all but secured the win.
Highlight moments: Wisconsin appeared to take control early midway through the second half with consecutive 3-pointers by freshman F Sam Dekker and G Ben Brust, but the lead was short lived. … Virginia G Joe Harris capped a strong first-half performance with a minute left in the opening stanza when he burried a nifty jumper off of a nice ball reversal just inside the 3-point arc.
- Harris -- 22 points on 8 of 19 shooting, 5 rebounds and five assists.
- Arkins -- 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks.
- Brust -- 15 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal.
- Wisconsin F Jared Berggren -- 12 points, 2 of 3 3-pointers, 2 rebounds.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett to The Daily Progress on forcing a Wisconsin air ball up four with under a minute left: "The sweetest thing for me was being able to win it on a defensive stand."
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan to BadgerNation.com: “I am sure whatever Tony is having for dinner tonight will taste better.”
As I said previously- w/no point guard in a stacked league-guessing UW doesn't make the field of 68 #Badgers— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) November 29, 2012
Terrific lock-down defense by UVA in a home-state return win for Tony Bennett over Wisconsin. 2nd surprise in challenge (Minn over FSU).— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) November 29, 2012
Numbers you should know: The Cavaliers have won three straight in the ACC/Big Ten challenge. … Wisconsin scored a season-low 23 points in the first half. … Ryan falls to 169-16 all-time at the Kohl Center.
- Virginia: vs. Green Bay (3-3), Saturday, 4 p.m. ET.
- Wisconsin: vs. Cal (6-0), Sunday, 4 p.m. ET.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big Ten bloggers Dave Carey and Mike Singer, follow @CBSSportsBigTen.