After 2 straight losses apparently a visit by Green Bay is just what the doctor ordered as Wisconsin took down the Phoenix 70-42 at the Kohl Center and improved to 7-2 overall. Don't let the final score fool you though as it wasn't all roses and sunshine so to speak.
Things got off to a slow start for both teams, but the Badgers never trailed in this one after Ben Brust opened up the scoring on a 3 pointer just 1:12 into the game. Green Bay would get the closest it would all game when it trailed 11-12 on a basket and free throw from guard Steve Baker with 10:20 left in the 1st half. From there Wisconsin really took control of the game, going on a 14-2 run to open the lead to 26-12 with just 4:01 left in the half.
Wisconsin built a somewhat comfortable 12 point halftime lead, 33-21, but really began to pull away as they opened up the 2nd half on a 8-0 run to go up by 20 points and never looked back in taking down there instate rivals.
Jordan Taylor was the star we all have been expecting this year as he went for a pretty unconventional double double, scoring a team high 15 points while dishing out a career best 10 assists in the victory. Joining Taylor in double figures for Wisconsin were forwards Ryan Evans (14 points, 6 rebounds) and Jared Berggren (13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 4 steals).
Defense was once again on display for the Badgers as they held the Phoenix to only 42 total points, 32.1% shooting from the field, and an astounding 16.7% shooting from behind the arc for the game.
All you really need to know about this game can be found in the assist to turnover numbers for this game as Green Bay had only 6 assists to 16 turnovers, while Wisconsin had the exact opposite, 16 assists to 6 turnovers. You aren't going to win any game if your Green Bay with those kind of numbers.
However, despite all that goodness the Badgers didn't exactly set the world on fire themselves once again, making it three straight games of poor shooting from the Badgers. Wisconsin only shot 36.4% in the 1st half, but got better against a Green Bay team that seemed to give up defensively throughout the 2nd half, shooting a blistering 57.7%, giving them 45.8% shooting for the night from the field. Unfortunately despite the opening 3 pointer by Ben Brust that trend didn't continue as they went only 3 of 17 for the game (17.6%).
The WiscoBadgers.com Player of the Game is no doubt Jordan Taylor. He showed he can control a game any number of ways tonight. He can score (15 points) or allow the rest of the team to flourish (career high 10 assists) and is never out of his element it seems.
Hopefully that 3 point shooting will right itself this Saturday as the 7-2 Badgers take on a very experienced and fast paced UNLV squad. The game is set for 1pm Central and you'll find it on TV this time courtesy of the Big Ten Network.