The Wisconsin Badgers took on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Minnesota’s Williams Arena. If you are a fan of defense, this was the matchup for you. It featured 12 separate blocks by both teams as well as 10 steals. It does make sense considering why the score was so low on both sides. However, the Badgers were able to eke out a crucial road win in The Barn, 61-59.
Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard utilized his starting five significantly more than any other combination of players with four players playing upwards of 30 minutes (forward Steven Crowl played just 26 minutes). The bench players played 11 minutes or less. There were three players in double digits for the Badgers. Forward Tyler Wahl led with 16 points, followed by guard AJ Storr with 15 points, and guard Max Klesmit who had the hot hand for the last few games now, finished with 11 points. Storr also led the team in rebounds with 10 going himself a double-double for the game, the first of his career.
Unfortunately, the rest of the team combined for just 19 points, 7 of which was contributed by Crowl. However, many of the team seemed to be having an off-night. This contributed to the lower score that many Badgers’ fans haven’t been used to seeing.
The Wisconsin Badgers Are A Great Team, However It May Need To Allow The Stars Like Storr To Lead More To Have Success.
AJ Storr has been one of the best additions to the Badgers since transferring from St. Johns University, consistently being one of the top scorers in every game they play. Since Storr has joined the team, he has had double digit points in every game dating back to the beginning of 2024. So far this season, Storr has played in 19 games, averaging 27 minutes per game and 15.3 points per game. That combined with a .438% FG percentage, .309 3 point % and only 1.5 turnovers has been the perfect piece to slot in Greg Gard’s Badger team.
Talk about a barn burner!
Highlights from the win at Minnesota
WAHL: 16 PTS (6-7 FG, 1-1 3FG)
STORR: 15 PTS | 12 REB | 2 AST
Klesmit: 11 PTS (3-5 3FG) pic.twitter.com/tRg83eWDYL
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) January 24, 2024
The Wisconsin Badgers Seem To Have Gotten Back On Track After Losing Away At Penn State.
Not every team can be perfect. The Badgers only Big Ten loss of the year so far was against the Nittany Lions of Penn State. This month, the 13th-ranked Badgers also notched wins against Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio State, Northwestern, Indiana and now, Minnesota. The fact that Wisconsin was able to go through the entire month with only one loss is very impressive, especially with it being in the middle of the season. Teams that are able to handle long stretches of wins like this are preparing themselves already for the NCAA Tournament.
The Wisconsin Badgers Are Making Themselves Known To The Rest of The Country By Becoming Dark Horses For The National Title.
The Badgers next opponent is the Michigan State Spartans in Madison. Currently, the only injury for the Badgers is guard Kamari McGee with a foot injury. He is listed as out. The Spartans will have guards Jeremy Fears and Jaden Akins on the injury report (Fears is out, Akins is a game-time decision).
The Spartans are 12-7 and will be looking to continue a three-game win streak (versus Rutgers, versus Minnesota, and at Maryland). The two teams faced off in the fall with the Badgers prevailing 70-57. This rematch could be a tough opponent for the Badgers considering it is the reverse Big 10 matchup.
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