On the heels of a 74-62 loss to Ohio State the Wisconsin Badgers look to bounce back Wednesday as they travel to face the Maryland Terrapins Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
The recent loss to the Buckeyes (12-4 overall, 6-4 conference) was partly caused by the Badgers (12-4, 6-3) woeful shooting.
As a team, Wisconsin shot 40% from the field, 60% from the free throw line and 25% from three-point range. Several scoring droughts helped the Buckeyes keep their lead throughout the game.
Losses Have Similar Looks
The Ohio State game looked eerily similar to this season’s first matchup of this season against the Terrapins. The result was a 70-64 loss Dec. 28th in Madison. In that game the Badgers shot 44% from the field and 53% from the line.
The loss to Maryland broke the Badgers 15 game home winning streak and 10 game conference winning streak that dated back to the 2019-2020 season.
As they enter the game against the Badgers Maryland (9-7, 3-6) is coming off of a 63-49 win over the Gophers in Minnesota. They held Minnesota to a 30% shooting percentage from the field. As a result, it was a very impressive showing from the Terrapins.
To beat the Terrapins, the Badgers need to put the ball in the basket at a higher frequency then they did against Ohio State or Maryland. As a result, Wisconsin can’t afford to have long droughts offensively.
Both Teams Strength is on the Defensive End Of The Court
Maryland is led by the backcourt duo of Eric Ayala (14.4 points per game) and Aaron Wiggins (12.2 ppg). Forward Donta Scott also averages 13 points a game. Ayala is the only Maryland player in the top twenty in scoring in the Big Ten. The Terrapins as a team are 13th in the Big Ten in scoring at 72.4 ppg which is one notch below the Badgers who are 12th at 72.6 ppg.
In contrast, Maryland is ranked fifth defensively allowing only 67.4 ppg. The Badgers are number one overall at 62.2 points allowed. Both teams are near the bottom in offensive ranking in the conference.
The Badgers top scorers are D’Mitrik Trice (14.6) and Micah Potter (12.1). Recently, Tyler Wahl was inserted into the starting lineup. He has contributed some key baskets and defensive play since his addition to the starting lineup.
Getting the best possible shot each possession has long been a staple of the Badgers offense. Knocking down those shots is sometimes a challenge. Because of this, they will need to make more of these shots to beat the Terrapins.
What Does Wisconsin Need To Do?
First, second chance opportunities by owning the boards both offensively and defensively can help offset any shooting woes. Secondly, Wisconsin will to avoid long periods of scoring droughts. This can help avoid a season sweep by Maryland. Consistent scoring on the offensive end will help Wisconsin win.
The game will be played at the Xfinity Center in College Park Maryland.