The #9 Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 67-53 in their first game of the Big Ten season. The Badger improve to 1-0 in conference play and 7-1 overall. Brad Davison led the Badgers with 15 points while Aleem Ford added 13. Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers added 10 each.
First Half Analysis
The first half was the definition of a roller coaster for Wisconsin. The Badgers missed 15 of their first 16 shots from the field and trailed 13-5 at the under 8 media timeout. The size of the Nebraska guards, Trey McGoverns (6’4), Teddy Allen (6’6), and Dalano Bantonn (6’9), made life miserable early on for the Wisconsin guards. Wisconsin committed seven turnovers and shot 31% from the field and 20% from three in the first half.
The last six minutes of the half was completely different. The Badgers played with more tempo and ball movement. Wisconsin ended the half on a 14-3 run to take a 25-24 lead at half time. Senior Aleem Ford and freshman Johnny Davis led the Badgers with 7 points apiece in the first half. Davis continues to be a spark and a factor for Wisconsin.
While Wisconsin’s offense was struggling, they stayed in the game because of their defense. Nebraska came into this game averaging 81 points a game. The Wisconsin defense has played great in every first half this season. The Badgers allowed Nebraska to shoot only 33% from the field and 31% from three. Both teams played great defense in the first half.
Second Half Analysis
Wisconsin played the entire second half exactly how they ended the first first. They kept the ball moving around the arch and the paint. This resulted in the Nebraska defense chasing and Wisconisn getting easier shots than the first half.
Nebraska came out fighting as well. At one point early in the second half, Nebraska took a 33-32 lead. After this, Wisconsin went on a 16-0 run to make it a 48-33 advantage after back to back Brad Davison threes. This was the nail in the coffin and the game was never in doubt after that.
Wisconsin has struggled in foul trouble, especially in the second half of games. Tonight, Nebraska was not in the bonus until just under 7 minutes left to play. Wisconsin ended the game with only 12 total fouls. The Badgers also went a perfect 15-15 from the free throw line. The Badgers also out-rebounded the Cornhuskers 40-31. Nebraska entered this game one of the best teams in the country in rebounding. These stats will win you a lot of Big Ten games.
The Badgers will travel to Michigan State on Christmas Day for a top 15 battle with #12 Michigan State. Tip time is scheduled for 11:30 AM CST. Michigan State is coming off a shocking loss to Northwestern, a team that is projected to be near the bottom of the Big Ten standings. The Badgers will need to be ready as Michigan State coach Tom Izzo will have his guys ready to play. It should be a good one!