Wisconsin basketball had another good offensive showing yesterday. The Badger defeated Nebraska 88-72 and improve to 3-0 in Big Ten play. Wisconsin shot 55% from the field and 50% from three. It is the eigth game in a row they have scored at least 70 points.
It was also another balanced scoring attack as Tyler Wahl was one of five Badgers in double figures with 17 points. Here are three takeaways from yesterday’s win.
Connor Essegian Provided a Spark off the Bench
It’s been a tough season for the Wisconsin basketball sophomore guard. After getting hurt in the first game of the season and some issues defensively, it’s been hard for Connor Essegian seeing the court. The emergence of John Blackwell and the defensive skills of Kamari McGee has resulted in Greg Gard playing them more.
Yesterday, Essegian saw the court just before the under 12 media timeout. He came out firing with nine points and brought the Kohl Center to life. His spark allowed the Badgers to maintain a double digit lead early and for the rest of the game. Essegian ended the day with 12 points in 12 minutes. If he can continue to improve on the defensive side, expect more minutes moving forward.
Wisconsin Basketball Did Anything They Wanted To in the Paint
The Badgers destroyed Nebraska in the paint and it was the difference in this game. Wisconsin out-scored the Cornhuskers 36-18 in the paint and it could have been a lot more. I mentioned in the game preview Wisconsin basketball had an advantage in the paint coming into this game. Tyler Wahl was excellent again and Steven Crowl continues to show patience when he gets touches in the post.
Anytime the Badgers got the ball in the post, it usually resulted in a layup or two free throws. They drew 16 Nebraska fouls and it should have been more. This is the bread butter of the Wisconsin offense right now and it;s been fun to see.
The Defense Needs To Improve
Credit should go to Nebraska here as well. They have improved a ton of the offensive side and made some really tough shots, especially in the first half. I mentioned at halftime when it was 51-38 that it was a little skewed because the Cornhuskers made some tough contested shots. There wasn’t much you could do about it.
However, over the last two games, Wisconsin basketball has been fouling jump shooters more often. It happened yesterday after at least three times in the Iowa game. I like seeing the Badgers close out on shooters, but they are being too aggressive at times.
Wisconsin basketball will hit the road for a battle with Ohio State on Wednesday night at 7:30. That will be televised on BTN.
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