Wisconsin’s balanced scoring attack proved too much for Northwestern as they defeated the Wildcats 68-52. The Badger basketball team came into the Kohl Center confident after their road win against Rutgers helped them retain their top ten ranking in the AP Poll. Tyler Wahl, Brad Davison, D’Mitrik Trice, and Micah Potter were the four Badgers to achieve double digit scoring. Tyler Wahl led Wisconsin with 14 points as his hot shooting continued. Despite some sloppy play, this strong senior led team out-rebounded the Wildcats with 34 rebounds compared to their 27. Wisconsin drained 10 threes and unsurprisingly shot outstanding at the free throw line, going 10-11.Ultimately, Northwestern did not have the firepower to compete with the Badgers in Madison.
The story of the first half was Freshman Jonathan Davis. The versatile rising star for the Badgers put up 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, a block, and a steal in the first half. Micah Potter had the first 7 points for the Badgers as he hit a three to put Wisconsin up 7-2. The Badgers started shooting hot as Brad Davison hit 2 triples and D’Mitrik Trice added 1 before the 10 minute mark of the first half. Then, Jonathan Davis showed up to play. He had a show stopping block and then went on a 6-0 run by himself to put up the Badgers up 31-20. The Wildcats cut the lead to 5 thanks to Chase Audige as he nailed a 3 with 5 minutes left, but then earned a technical foul to give the Badgers some security. Wisconsin was cold the rest of the half besides Tyler Wahl’s 3 point jumper with 2:28 remaining. 41-34 was the score at half.
Wisconsin’s defense was absolutely stifling in the 2nd half and was certainly the headline of the half. They held Northwestern to only 18 points and held them scoreless for almost 6 minutes. Boo Buie and Miller Kopp made jumpers for Northwestern to start the half to cut Northwestern’s deficit back to 5, but that’s as close as it got as they did not score again until the 10:27 mark. During that time, Wisconsin went on a 12-0 run highlighted by a Tyler Wahl three, a pair of Trevor Anderson layups, and a forgiving bounce from a Micah Potter heave. Northwestern could not seem to get the ball in the basket for the rest of the half and the Badgers tried to get senior center Nate Reuvers back in an offensive groove. Badgers win comfortably with a 68-52 victory.
The Big Picture
Nate Reuvers did not start for the 2nd time tonight as Tyler Wahl replaced him in the starting lineup. However, Reuvers played 22 minutes compared to Micah Potter’s 17. Gard continues to play them together less and less. The three ball was a big theme of the game as the Badgers depended on the post game less than they usually do. The strong defense shown in the second half was a good sign, along with the strong shooting night. Another story line is the emergence of Tyler Wahl. Wahl has come out firing this season. He’s shooting 41.7 percent from deep and has sunk 5 of his last 6 triples. This is something to watch as the Badgers take on Ohio State on Saturday.