Tell me if this is a familiar theme for you? Wisconsin goes down 7-0 early, only to open up a 14 point lead on the way to rolling over Nebraska to open Big Ten conference play. If so it's because the football team did just that.
In this case Wisconsin used a career high 22 points from Ryan Evans and some stingy defense to route the Cornhuskers 64-40 to give Nebraska basketball (8-4, 0-1) a rude welcome to the Big Ten.
All you need to know about this game is one word: RUNS. Things started out bad for the Badgers as they were cold shooting to start the game and were down 7-0 with just under 3 minutes gone in the 1st half. Wisconsin would answer back as they would go on a 24-5 run to go up 24-12 over roughly the next ten minutes of the first half.
The Badgers would go into the half up 33-26 with Ryan Evans scoring 13 of his 22 points in the half. He was perfect shooting for the half and Wisconsin shot 57.1% as a team from the field along with 55.6% from behind the arc in that 1st half.
Nebraska's leading scorer coming into this game was Bo Spencer, however he was held scoreless in the 1st half on 0-5 shooting. Instead it was the hot hand of Toney McCray that would lead the Huskers in the 1st half as he scored 14 of his team best 16 points in the half.
Wisconsin would start the 2nd half off nearly as bad as the 1st as they would see their lead evaporate to only 5 points, but again the Badgers would answer with a huge run, this time 27-5, to put the game out of reach with just around 5 minutes to play. That wold send the season best crowd at the Bob Devaney Sports Center to the exits.
Joining Evans as a double figure scorer for Wisconsin was Jordan Taylor, who added 15 points for the Badgers (12-2, 1-0) as they finished the game shooting 51.1% from the field.
Wisconsin played perhaps their greatest defensive game of the season in holding Nebraska to their season low of 40 points. Even Bo Ryan agreed, saying, "Take away those first few mishaps and we played as well defensively as we have played all season."
The 40 point total was 11 points lower than Nebraska's previous low water mark of the season so far and credit has to go to Josh Gasser for shutting down their biggest offensive weapon, Bo Spencer. He scored only 5 points on 2-12 shooting for the game.
Not only did Spencer struggle, the whole team did. Coming into this game the Huskers were shooting 45% from the field. They ended tonight's game shooting 30.6% as a team and a horrible 20.8% in the 2nd half alone.
With the win the Badgers have now held 12 of their 14 opponents to their season low in points and have held 18 straight opponents under 65 points as a team. It also makes 9 straight wins for the Badgers in conference openers (9-2 under Bo Ryan).
Not much else needs to be said about this game, as it was pure domination from the start and Wisconsin will continue to look for that type of play as they open up the home portion of the Big Ten schedule on New Years Eve against Iowa at Noon CT on BTN.