Some Saturday afternoon hoops for Wisconsin. Taking on a feisty Rutgers team at the Kohl Center. Just a week ago this same Rutgers team put a beat down on Michigan State. They have some guys who can get it going like Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr. Rutgers gained their first win ever at the Kohl Center winning 73-65. Wisconsin falls out of a tie for first place in the Big Ten. Here’s three things. .
First Half Woes
What a strange first half. So much that I figured I would write about it at halftime. This half gave me that feeling that we were going to be in another Big Ten battle. After not trailing at all in the Michigan state game, the badgers only led in the first half for 1 minute.
Rutgers shot the lights out in the first half. Coming into this game, Rutgers had been shooting a modest 33% from behind the line. They went 5/9 in the first half, which also included some really tough deep twos. Shooting 50% from the field overall, Rutgers put 38 on the Badgers at the Kohl Center was strange to see.
On the other hand, Wisconsin had a strange first half offensively to go along with the poor defense. The badgers did a fantastic job getting to the line in the first 20 minutes. However, shooting 7/15 from the line is not going to cut it. The struggles from the Michigan state game seems to have carried over to today. Not to mention, on the other hand Rutgers went a perfect 7/7 from the free throw line.
Only down 38-35 at half after all of that was a fine place to be for Wisconsin. A lot of time left in this game, but another slow start from the Badgers. At some point it’s going to catch up to them.
Wisconsin’s offense was way too inconsistent today. Brad Davison shot 2/12 from the field and 1/9 from 3. Unlike the other times where the offense has sputtered, the Badgers could not get consistent stops on the other end. Wisconsin didn’t score from 4:49 to the 30 second mark in the second half. It’s almost impossible to win a game like that.
Nightmare day for Brad Davison continues.
2-of-12 from the field.
1-of-9 from 3-point range.#Badgers
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) February 12, 2022
Wisconsin shot 4/19 from 3 while Rutgers went 7/12. The Badgers have been towards the bottom of the conference for 3-point percentage all season. Thanks to some good shooting from Brad, Johnny and Chucky the bad shooting games haven’t felt too overwhelming. Today it became something they couldn’t overcome. Add the poor shooting with 11 turnovers and 9/17 from the free throw line and this game became impossible. Rutgers had to knock down a couple tough shots, which they did. Wisconsin had no answer on the other end.
Since going up 60-59 with 4:49 remaining. Wisconsin went empty on its next seven possessions, which included four turnovers, two missed Davis shots, and one offensive rebound.
— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) February 12, 2022
The lone bright spot offensively today was Tyler Wahl. Wahl had a career high and even knocked in 1 of the 4 made 3s today for the Badgers. He’s going to have to continue the offensive output to go along with Davis and Davidson for Wisconsin to make a real run in March.
No Time to Sulk
We’ve mentioned before a few times how competitive the Big Ten is. Wisconsin must learn from this game and move on to the next, quickly. Tuesday night they are at Indiana, then followed with Michigan Sunday afternoon. The Badgers will get their chance for revenge when they visit Rutgers on February 26th.
No one enjoys losing, especially to a “lesser” ranked team. But credit to Rutgers, who is one of the hottest teams in the conference right now. They completely outplayed and out worked the Badgers today.
Unfortunately, my feeling at halftime was a justified one to have. The tone that was set by Rutgers just felt like they wanted it more today. Even though I trusted this Badgers group in close games. Not scoring for over 4 minutes to end the game makes it tough to win. The Kohl Center was blah all day, which also reminds me to once again ask to move the student section closer or somewhere else.
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