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No. 12 Minnesota loses fourth straight

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No. 12 Minnesota loses fourth straight

MADISON, Wis. (AP) MADISON, Wis. - Minnesota coach Tubby Smith is getting tired of this type of ending.

Miscues on both ends of the court proved costly for the 12th-ranked Golden Gophers on Saturday, as Wisconsin pulled out a 45-44 victory and sent Minnesota to its fourth consecutive loss.

Badgers point guard Traevon Jackson narrowly beat the shot clock, hitting a 15-foot jumper from the right side with 4 seconds left for what proved to be the decisive points.

The winning shot followed an offensive foul by Minnesota leading scorer Andre Hollins. And the Gophers (15-5, 3-4 Big Ten) had a chance to tie the score with 1.8 seconds remaining, only to see Rodney Williams miss the back end of a bonus to end the game.

``That's a recipe for getting a loss: just not be disciplined defensively, and not be disciplined offensively,'' Smith said. ``We've had three chances now to break (the losing streak), and it's been the same. We had a good shot today; we had a good shot (Wednesday) against Northwestern. We just haven't stepped up to the plate.

``Maybe we're just not pushing the right buttons to get guys to do what they have to do,'' Smith added. ``No one wants to play bad. Nobody's trying to lose. But obviously it becomes a state of mind.''

After Jackson gave the Badgers (14-6, 5-2) a 45-43 lead, Minnesota called a timeout with 1.8 seconds remaining and inbounded from halfcourt. Wisconsin's Mike Bruesewitz fouled Mbakwe on the play, but the big man was unable to shoot the ensuing free throws because he aggravated a right wrist injury.

Badgers coach Bo Ryan selected Williams to take Mbakwe's spot. Williams, who came in shooting 64.9 percent from the line, hit the first free throw but missed the second and Sam Dekker grabbed the rebound to seal the win for Wisconsin.

``Once Trevor got hurt, I kind of knew they were going to send me to the free throw line,'' Williams said. ``So I just tried to prepare myself the best I could. I knocked down the first one and the second one felt just as good as the first one did, but it didn't bounce my way.''

Dekker and Ryan Evans scored 10 points apiece and Jackson finished with nine for the Badgers, who ended a two-game slide and have beaten Minnesota 15 times in the past 16 meetings in Madison.

Hollins had a game-high 20 for the Gophers, but was called for a charge on Ben Brust with 39.1 seconds left and the score tied at 43 to set the stage for Jackson's late shot.

``It was a big momentum-changer in the game,'' Hollins said of the offensive foul. ``My decision-making on that play was very poor. Those are the little things that cost us the game.''

Jackson ran down the clock, finally maneuvering over the 3-point line with about 6 seconds left. He faked a shot, which sent the 6-foot-8 Mbakwe flying past him, then put up the decisive jumper - replays showed he released the ball just before the 35-second shot clock expired.

``I could've done a better job of contesting the shot,'' said Mbakwe, who finished with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds. He said he didn't expect to miss any games because of the wrist injury; Smith said the injury occurred earlier in the week and an X-ray showed it to be a bruise.

Minnesota was outrebounded 35-29 and held to a season low for points, another consistent concern for Smith.

``We didn't get much balanced scoring,'' he said. ``That's been our problem lately, we just haven't been able to score. Andre's been carrying us. We just need to find some more scoring.''

The Gophers led by as many as eight in the first half, but Evans scored six points in a 13-2 run just before halftime. Neither team led by more than five in the second half in the Badgers' third Big Ten game this season in which both teams failed to score 50 points.

Wisconsin improved to 57-1 under Ryan at home when allowing fewer than 50 points - Tuesday's 49-47 setback to No. 13 Michigan State being the only loss.

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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