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Wisconsin struggles in rough loss to No. 18 Virginia

Back to the drawing board.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Going into a tough match-up on the road against an ACC power, the Wisconsin Badgers were going to have to shoot the ball well and not turn the ball over to keep it close.

That did not happen on Monday night, as Wisconsin (3–4) dropped a 49–37 loss against the No. 18 Virginia Cavaliers (7–0) at John Paul Jones Arena after shooting 31.3 percent from the field and only 15 percent from three-point range.

Guard Kyle Guy scored a game-high 17 points on 8-of-17 shooting, with Devon Hall recording 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field for Virginia. To Wisconsin’s credit, the Cavaliers shot only 38.3 percent (23 of 60). For that matter, they did not even attempt a free throw.

Yet the Badgers only hit on 15 of their 48 shots and only three of 20 from behind the arc. In the second half, UW went ice-cold, shooting 28.6 percent and hitting just one of nine three-point attempts.

Only five Badgers scored against the Cavaliers.

Forward Ethan Happ scored a team-high 14 points and eight rebounds, with guard D’Mitrik Trice adding 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting. The other three scorers were all freshmen, with Aleem Ford (six points, four rebounds), Brad Davison (five points), and Kobe King (two points) providing the team’s remaining 13 points.

Davison, after scoring a career-high 19 points against Milwaukee on Friday night, went cold on Monday. He made two of 10 from the field (one of five from three-point range) and in the second half injured his left shoulder. He attempted to come back in but later went back to the bench nursing the injury, which was first sustained against Baylor last week.

Virginia out-rebounded Wisconsin 39–30, with Isaiah Wilkins and center Jack Salt grabbing a combined 18 boards. Salt also added four blocks on the evening.

The Cavaliers also outscored the Badgers in the paint with a 34–18 advantage.

After Wisconsin whittled its deficit down to 30–26 with 16:57 remaining in the game, Virginia went on a 12–0 run in a 6:25 span to pull away.

Wisconsin will face Ohio State on Saturday (yes, on the court as well as in Indianapolis) with a 4 p.m. CT tip-off at the Kohl Center.