Defense Stifles Tigers as Wisconsin wins 66-33
14th ranked Wisconsin took care of business before focusing on finals as they doubled up visiting Savannah State 66-33 at the Kohl Center. With the win the Badgers improved to 10-2 on the season, while dropping Savannah State to 4-8. This game wasn't close from the get go as Wisconsin used a team effort on both ends of the floor to hold Savannah State to a season low 33 points.
For the Badgers holding Savannah State to 33 points was it's best defensive output of the season and marked the 10 time in 12 games that the Badgers have held an opponent to their season low in points. It also moved their #1 ranked scoring defense to 44.7 points a game.
This game was virtually over from the get go after Savannah State tied the game up at 2 on a basket by leading scorer Rashad Hasan. From there the Badgers went off, putting the game out of reach with a 19-4 run over a 9:06 period of the 1st half. That put the Badges up 24-8 with 8:15 left in the half. Wisconsin would go into the half time break up 32-14.
With a lead like that you'd think the Badgers were dominating in all facets of the game, but that wasn't quite the case. Sure they forced 11 first half turnovers by the Tigers, held them to 31.8% from the field, and made them go 0 for 3 from 3 point land. But, Savannah State held a rebounding advantage of 14-12 and also lead in points in the paint. Arnold Louis lead the Tigers in scoring at the half with 6 points.
Jared Berggren continued his regular double digit scoring night, scoring a team high 13 points, 11 of which came in the 1st half. As a team Wisconsin used 52%FG shooting and 75%FT shooting to help build their 18 point halftime lead.
Things rocked back and forth a bit during the 2nd half as Wisconsin opened up a 20 point (38-18) lead to start the 2nd half. Wisconsin also opened up a 19 point lead and held Savannah State scoreless for 4:19 in the middle of the 2nd half. Wisconsin would put things away shortly after the Tigers broke their scoreless streak on a bucket by Rashad Hasan. A jumper by Jordan Taylor, who had 12 points in the game, more than doubled up the Tigers at 61-30 with only 3:48 left in the game. From that point on it was time to empty the bench as the Badgers played nearly every single guy off the bench as they played 13 guys during the game.
Wisconsin made it a team effort all around as two other Badgers joined Berggren and Taylor in double digits as Ryan Evans added 12 points and Josh Gasser had 10 in the blowout win. Evans and Gasser lead the team with 5 rebounds a piece. On the offensive end the Badgers shot an astounding 56.8% from the floor while holding the Tigers to only 32.6% shooting on the night. Adding to the team effort Wisconsin blocked 6 Savannah State shots and cause 16 turnovers by the Tigers (right on their season average though).
Next up for the Badgers is another HBCU team, this time from the SWAC as they take on the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State. That game takes place on the 23rd at 4:30pm and will be televised by BTN once again.