MADISON, Wis. – Some nights just aren’t your night. Shots go in and back out, calls don’t go your way, and momentum is hard to come by. No doubt the Wisconsin men’s basketball feels the same way after a 61-54 loss to in-state rival Marquette at home in the Kohl Center.
It was an uncharacteristically sloppy afternoon for the Badgers, who only shot 32% from the floor. They also couldn’t get the three-point shots to fall, making just five of 19 attempts in the game. Head coach Bo Ryan said he knew his shooters could be streaky heading into the game.
"We know our weaknesses, we know our flaws," Ryan said following the game. "We’re not going to change anything that we’re doing. We’ve got some guys that are streaky, offensively."
Those cold streaks really hurt the Badgers, who let Marquette jump out to a 13-point lead during a field goal-less streak that lasted almost eight minutes. The Badgers never lead by more than five points during the game, and sophomore guard Josh Gasser said it just wasn’t the Badgers’ night.
"It was just one of those nights, I think," Gasser said. "Sometimes the balls don’t fall. We had good looks; we just couldn’t knock them down sometimes. Some games they go in, some games they don’t."
Turning the ball over also cost the Badgers, who are usually stingy when it comes to turnovers. Senior point guard Jordan Taylor had five, a season-high, while Gasser and Ryan Evans both mixed in two apiece. In all, the Badgers had 12 turnovers to Marquette’s 13, but for the most part Marquette was able to take advantage of the extra possessions better than Wisconsin. The Golden Eagles had 16 points off turnovers to Wisconsin’s 14.
In addition, Marquette out-rebounded the Badgers by a significant margin. The Golden Eagles pulled down 44 boards, with 17 of them coming on the offensive end. This allowed the Eagles to put up 17 second-chance points to Wisconsin’s five, after the Badgers pulled down 32 rebounds.
It was a rough night for a team that was looking to rebound after a disappointing, but encouraging, 60-57 loss at North Carolina. Unlike Wednesday’s game, the Badgers never seemed to be able to sustain any momentum, and several players found themselves in foul trouble early on. Taylor had four fouls in the game, forcing him to ride the bench while the Badgers tried to mount a comeback without him.
Up next, the Badgers will take on UW-Green Bay at the Kohl Center on Wednesday, Dec. 7. After two losses to ranked teams, the team will need to address their issues before Big Ten play rolls around at the end of the month.