UW 80, St. John’s 70
March 15, 2002
Round of 64, MCI Center (Washington, D.C.)
Bo Ryan had spent plenty of time on the dance floor at the Division III level with UW-Platteville, where he won four national titles, but this was his debut in the Big Dance with the University of Wisconsin.
And it was a successful one. Kirk Penney scored 19 points to lead six players in double figures, and the eighth-seeded Badgers finished with just nine turnovers against the Red Storm’s pressure defense.
“It’s a great thrill,” said Ryan, who had led the Badgers to a share of the Big Ten title during his first year. “Personally, I’ve waited a long time to be in a game like this. I didn’t say much about that to the players, but it sure is fun being a part of it. … I just thanked the team for letting me be part of it.”
Marcus Hatten scored a game-high 28 points for St. John’s, but it took him 33 shot attempts to reach that total.
Freddie Owens scored 15 of his 18 points after halftime for UW. Owens was part of a four-guard lineup that helped the Badgers use a 13-4 run to take a 61-50 lead with 7 minutes, 45 seconds left in the game.
“Our team came out and played very unselfish basketball,” Owens said, “and when we play like that, we’re going to be tough to beat.”