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Badgers contain Waldon to avert Bulls upset

It took the better part of two games, but Wisconsin finally managed to shut down South Florida's B.B. Waldon.

Waldon, who scored 25 points in the Bulls' victory over the Badgers last season, was on his way to another big game Saturday with 20 points midway through the second half.

But the 13th-ranked Badgers put the clamps on Waldon, holding him to one free throw the rest of the way as they rallied to tie the score in regulation and pull out a 63-61 victory in overtime.

Roy Boone scored 18 points and Kirk Penney hit two key three-pointers to lead the Badgers, who extended their winning streak to nine games.

But the key performer down the stretch was Andy Kowske, who took over the defensive assignment on Waldon and held him without a field goal for the last 12 minutes of regulation and the overtime.

"I think Andy's experience really showed up today," Wisconsin interim coach Brad Soderberg said. "He did a great job of keeping his hands off Waldon and at the same time denying him the ball in the post.

"Waldon is just a tremendous player what a talented kid. I'm just glad Andy stepped up and did what he did. He got some deflections, he got a couple denials of passes down in the post and that made a huge difference down the stretch."

Kowske got some experience guarding Waldon last season, when the USF star went 11-of-12 from the field as the Bulls beat the Badgers 66-63.

"I knew they were going to try to go to Waldon almost every time down," Kowske said. "I just told myself to be tough, stay down and play the defense I know I'm capable of playing. Fortunately, things worked out."

Waldon's last field goal came with 12:18 left and was part of a 13-3 run that gave the Bulls a 47-43 lead.

"We try to get the ball to B.B. on every possession," Bulls coach Seth Greenberg said. "They packed it in around him and that left some things open on the perimeter for other guys, but he's still our No. 1 option every time down the court."

USF took its biggest lead at 56-49 on a rebound basket by Cedric Smith with 4:10 left.

But the Bulls were held scoreless the rest of regulation. Penney provided the big play, hitting a three-pointer on an inbounds play with 26 seconds left.

Penney entered in a 2-for-18 shooting slump over the past three games. He also hit another three-pointer in overtime.

"Hopefully this will help his confidence," Soderberg said.

The Bulls had a chance to win in the final seconds, but Chonsey Asbury missed a driving layup.

"We basically wanted to make a play going to the basket and hopefully getting a call or making Wisconsin respond to us," Greenberg said. "Ideally we wanted to go to B.B. first, but we couldn't get him the ball, so we tried to drive the basketball down and make a play inside. In a way we accomplished that and in a way we didn't.

"I'm just extremely proud of the way our guys played today."

USF led twice in overtime, but Boone tied the score at 61 on a driving layup with 1:50 left. Mark Vershaw put Wisconsin ahead with two free throws with 38.5 seconds left.

Waldon missed a long three-point attempt with five seconds left and Kowske grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made a free throw.

The Bulls had one last chance, but Kowske foiled that by stealing a long inbounds pass intended for Waldon.

"They're a very good basketball team," said Greenberg, who saw his team's six-game winning streak snapped. "They're hard to play against. I thought we came out and rebounded better in the second half and had control of the game. But then we just couldn't score."

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