Well, that was pretty. For the most part. We also have a nice #B1G halftime score. Fine with me.
After fearing a letdown of sorts after Sunday's sensational beatdown of Ohio State, we instead saw a Wisconsin squad that came out of the Welsh-Ryan Arena tunnel and utilized its sizable size advantage (awkward?). The Badgers shot 42.3 percent (11-of-26) from the field, and they also out-rebounded the Wildcats 20-8 . On the offense boards, the margin was an especially juicy 9-2. Jared Berggren led a mostly balanced scoring attack with eight points and six rebounds, as well as two steals. Traevon Jackson looked sharp as well, notching six points on 2-of-3 shooting and adding four rebounds with three assists. He did miss a few minutes, however.
Trae Jackson is back in the huddle and will be just fine. He suffered a blow to the... ahem... mid-section. #Badgers— Patrick Herb (@BadgerMBB) February 21, 2013
According to UW officials, Jackson took a hit in a place guys don't like contact. #Badgers— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) February 21, 2013
No worries, though -- Trae' returned. Keep in mind, too, this happened on Social Media Night in Evanston. No lie -- they even brought out ROVELL to prove it:
Thanks Northwestern for this great welcome home at tonight's basketball game twitter.com/darrenrovell/s…— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) February 21, 2013
Oy. Back to basketball.
The Badgers raced out to a 9-0 lead before Northwestern scored its first points at 14:36 on a somewhat deep Reggie Hearn 3-pointer. Hearn led the Wildcats with four points at halftime, and that trey was his only made field goal of the half. One interesting note in the play: Sam Dekker had entered about 30 seconds prior, but on that play where Hearn caught the ball at the top of the key, Wisconsin's freshman followed him under the screen. Bo Ryan apparently hated that so much, he yanked Dekker at the next possible moment. Dekker returned a few minutes later and finished the first half with two points and one rebounding, though Ryan continued to show the freshman's leash is still pretty short. Much shorter than most Badgers fans would like, it seems.
--Ben Brust had a very Ben Brust line, save for his 1-of-6 shooting (1-of-5 from 3-point range): three points, four rebounds and two assists.
--Ryan Evans has shared the size advantage Berggren has over Northwestern's smaller frontcourt, and he has two points and three boards to show for it. He also led the Badgers in free throw attempts with four, and made just two. Percentage-wise, Evans' foul-shooting nightmare is on track to continue.
--Wishlist for the second half: keep feeding Berg & co. Use that size advantage!