Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Seniors end final game at Kohl Center with a bang

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Barry Alvarez thanked them, Bo Ryan told them they were
special, Marcus Landry let them know he appreciated them? and Penn State just
couldn?t stop them.

Playing in their final game at the Kohl Center, Wisconsin?s
seniors weren?t going to be denied. Needing a win to secure a Big Ten title,
the three in the regular rotation took little time putting away the Nittany
Lions in the team?s blowout win.

?This is their night,? Ryan said. ?And this is about them. ?
It?s a great feeling to see this group come together the way they did.?

Greg Stiemsma did it with power.


The center threw down a couple of monster dunks, including
one on a put-back off a missed 3-pointer that was impressive. Penn State couldn?t
find an answer for Stiemsma inside no matter what they tried. Even when it
wasn?t working for Stiemsma, it was. A free-throw attempt that appeared to be
shot with too much force quietly dropped into the basket, bringing a smile and
a laugh to the big man?s face.

?Maybe in a few days or maybe when even the season?s over it
will set in, I?ll start to realize that that was our last time on to the Kohl
Center floor playing in front of all those people. ? It?s going to hurt a
little bit,? Stiemsma said. ?I think to go out like we did, to achieve what we
did tonight, I think it is really special; it?s one of those things where it
doesn?t seem like it should happen.?

Stiemsma finished the game with a season-high 10 points and
six rebounds and notched an assist when he passed the ball off to Joe
Krabbenhoft, who dunked it for his first collegiate jam.

Michael Flowers did it the way he?s done all year, which is
to say by doing a little bit of everything.

The guard had a little bit of trouble finding his stroke,
shooting just 1-for-4 from behind the arc and finishing with just five points,
but he grabbed eight rebounds and dished the ball for a season-high nine
assists and was all over the court making plays.

?He just plays hard, and he?s so unselfish when he gets in
there,? Brian Butch said. ?Nine assists, that?s absolutely awesome for this
team, and it shows what he cares about and that?s winning.?

Butch did it with his scoring.

Even though he couldn?t sink one of the 3-pointers that have
become his trademark of late, Butch still finished with 12 points and helped UW
outscore Penn State by 36.

?To do it on Senior Night? it?s kind of a good way to go
out,? Butch said. ?Us seniors will remember getting a Big Ten championship
title and going out that way.?

And then there was Tanner Bronson, whose contribution might
not have had much affect on the outcome, but excited all those in attendance

With 10:46 left to go, the fans started cheering for Ryan to
put Bronson in the game. Six minutes later they got their wish. And when the
guard swished a 3-pointer a couple of minutes after entering the game, the
crowd let out its biggest roar of the night.

?To see him do it on a game like this, on Senior Night, it
kind of comes full circle,? Butch said. ?I?m just so excited, so happy for him
to be experience something like that.?

When Bronson walked off right after the basket, he shared a
moment with Ryan that was one of the most emotional moments of the night.

When it was all said and done, the Badger seniors walked off
the court with a victory over Penn State, a Big Ten championship trophy, their
school record 99th win and a great memory.

?To have it all culminate on Senior Night, to clinch at
least a piece of the Big Ten championship, it?s just sweet,? Ryan said. ?I?m so
happy for [the seniors].?

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