For the first time since March 7, The Wisconsin Badger basketball team took the court. The 7th ranked Badgers defeated the Eastern Illinois Panthers 77-67 in the opening night of college basketball. Below we will look at the recap and analysis of this game.
First Half Analysis
The first half this game was the Nate Reuvers show. Reuvers made his presence known on both sides of the ball. Offensively, he showed his ability to score at the rim as well as the behind the arch. Defensively, Reuvers showed his ability to block shots with multiple blocks early in the half. There was no doubt Reuvers was the best player on the court. He ended the night with 18 points, leading the Badgers.
The Wisconsin freshmen, who came in with a ton of hyper, did not disappoint early on. Ben Carlson and Johnny Davis were the first freshmen called off the bench for coach Greg Gard. In a span of two possessions, Davis scored a bucket, blocked a shot, and ended with a Carlson bucket. Both had eight points in the first half alone. The moment didn’t seem big at all for Carlson and Davis.
The Wisconsin defense played great in the first half, only allowing 20 points on 23.5% shooting. Wisconsin held Eastern Illinois leading scorer Josiah Wallace to only four first half points. The Badgers were 9-11 from the free throw line and shot 51.7% in the first half. Wisconisn came into half time up 43-20.
Second Half Analysis
Eastern Illinois came up out the locker room in the second half aggressive and with more energy than Wisconisn. The Panthers were physical and played well on both sides of the ball. The Wisconsin offense looked bothered by the zone the Panthers were running, especially in the second half. After a 16-3 run, the Panthers cut the lead to 56-42 at the 11:32 minutes mark in the half.
Wisconsin saw two more freshmen make their debuts in the second half. Freshmen center Steven Crowl entered the game early in the second half. Freshman walk-on Carter Gilmore also logged in minutes near the end of the game.
Sophomore Tyler Wahl had a great second half. After being half scoreless in the first half, Wahl scored nine points in the second half from the free throw line and a flurry of athletic moves around the rim. The bench combination of Wahl, Crowl, Davis, and Carlson combined for 32 bench points.
Eastern Illinois did come up with a flurry of points to end the game including two three pointers and an and one bucket to make the score more respectable. However, this was with their starters on the court and Wisconsin’s reserves on the court.
Wisconsin will take the court Friday night to take on the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions. This will take place in Madison at 8 PM CST on the Big Ten Network. Eastern Illinois will travel to Marquette Friday night for a 6 PM tip against the Golden Eagles.
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