Turnovers, poor shooting from deep, and a rough night from their All-American, along with not being able to contain guard Corey Sanders, contributed to the Badgers’ loss.
Sanders scored a game-high 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including six straight points late in the contest to ultimately allow Rutgers (11–6, 1–3 Big Ten) to pull ahead for good.
Wisconsin (9–8, 2–2) committed 14 turnovers on the evening, with Rutgers capitalizing with 11 points off of those mistakes. UW also shot horribly from three-point range, going only two of 13 (15.4 percent) from behind the arc.
Seven of those turnovers came from redshirt junior Ethan Happ, with another five attributed to true freshman guard Brad Davison.
Happ, the All-American forward, recorded a second consecutive double-double, but scored only 10 points on 4-of-10 from the field along with his 10 rebounds and four assists in a rough road performance.
Guards Brevin Pritzl and Davison both contributed a team-high 13 points on a combined 9-of-18 shooting. Davison also dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds—but like Happ, the true freshman contributed to Wisconsin’s turnover problem.
As a team, UW shot 48.9 percent from the field (23-of-47).
Eight of UW’s 14 turnovers occurred in the first half—five from Happ—and the Badgers only hit eight of 21 shots (38.1 percent) on the way to a 25–24 halftime deficit.
The Badgers came back early in the next period and actually led by five points in the second half after a Nate Reuvers basket extended the lead to 33–28 at the 16:58 mark.
Reuvers scored 10 points with four rebounds and three blocks for the game.
The Scarlet Knights went on a 14-2 run thereafter for a seven-point lead on a Geo Baker lay-up with 11:24 left.
UW, however, kept fighting back, pulling within one at times before Rutgers again built up a seven-point advantage with a 53-46 lead with 3:42 remaining.
Wisconsin then went on a 7-0 run to tie the game after Davison’s three-pointer—the first successful three-point shot for UW on the evening with 2:03 left in regulation.
The Badgers hit on 15 of 26 shots (57.7 percent) in the second half.
Sanders answered back emphatically with those six straight points. The first, a jump shot, made it 55–53—after Pritzl missed a three with Reuvers grabbing the rebound but missing a potential lay-up after that.
Then hitting one of his two free throws after a Davison offensive foul, Sanders gave Rutgers a 59–53 lead with 47 seconds left to play.
Davison scored on two more layups, but Rutgers converted on three free throws between them to make it 62–57. Deshawn Freeman’s dunk with six seconds left sealed the win.