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Wisconsin basketball: Marquette recap

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Marquette TRAVELS back to Milwaukee with a big L as the Badgers win 77-61.

Dan Sanger

Entering with a 2-1 record, the Wisconsin Badgers basketball program took on in-state rival Marquette Golden Eagles at the Kohl Center in Madison. With a white-out in place for fans, the game had a tremendous amount of energy, and ultimately the Badgers held down Markus Howard and Marquette to win 77-61.

Taking on one of the most dynamic scoring guards in college basketball, Wisconsin had D’Mitrik Trice and Kobe King responsible for defense on Markus Howard, who came in averaging 28 points per game.

In the early stages of the game, Wisconsin went on a quick 9-0 run, feeding off of the home crowd energy to give the Badgers a 16-11 lead at the second media timeout. Nate Reuvers and Aleem Ford were particularly active early. The duo score 10 of the first 16 points for the Badgers.

Markus Howard then went on a personal run for Marquette. The senior guard scored seven consecutive points for the Golden Eagles, while Wisconsin sputtered offensively due to turnover problems. He finished the first half with 16 points and three turnovers.

To end the first half, Wisconsin went on a run of their own with three straight makes to give the Badgers a 34-29 lead.

In the beginning portion of the second half, Kobe King and Brad Davison scored the first nine points for Wisconsin to jump the Badgers out to a 43-34 lead. Howard on the other hand started the second half missing his first four shot attempts for Marquette.

At the second media timeout Wisconsin held a 50-41 lead, but Wisconsin continued to pull away due to some great three-point shooting. Wisconsin hit seven three-pointers in the first 14 minutes of the second half to take a 67-55 lead with 5:30 left in the game.

In the end though, Wisconsin maintained their hot shooting, while Marquette’s leading scorer Howard faltered in the second half scoring only two points on 0-of-9 shooting. The Badgers poured it on late to finish the Golden Eagles off 77-61.

Notable stat lines:

  • Brevin Pritzl —> 15 points (4-of-6 from the floor), 13 rebounds (!!!)
  • Kobe King —> 10 points (3-of-8 from the floor), three rebounds, four assists
  • Aleem Ford —> 12 points (4-of-10 from the floor), seven rebounds
  • Brad Davison —> 15 points (6-of-13 from the floor), three rebounds, two assists
  • Markus Howard (Marquette) —> 18 points (6-of-21 from the floor), two points in the second half

Three things that stood out

No. 1: Brevin Pritzl

The senior wing had a career day for Wisconsin off the bench. He poured in 15 points and added another 13 rebounds for his first double-double. His aggressiveness on the boards led to multiple second chance opportunities and he was clutch when called upon from three-point range. While he will likely continue to come off the bench for the Badgers, he showed the ability to spark the team and provide tremendous hustle. Assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoeft called out Brevin Pritzl

No. 2: Inside-out

Offensively Wisconsin made it an emphasis to get the ball inside on Marquette. The Badgers had 18 points in the paint in the first half compared to Marquette’s four. Wisconsin continued to pound the ball inside, finishing with 24 points in the paint.

That effort lead to shooting opportunities from outside in the second half. The Badgers got hot from behind the arc, hitting 11-of-23 from three point land on the game, and 8-14 in the second half. Tyler Wahl, Brevin Pritzl, Aleem Ford, D’Mitrik Trice, Brad Davison, Kobe King, and Nate Reuvers all got in on the three-point fireworks.

No. 3: 1-2-2 full court trap?

During the first half Wisconsin employed a 1-2-2 full court trap defense after made baskets on a couple of occasions. The Badgers traditionally stick with a man-to-man defensive approach, but it was an interesting wrinkle used by Greg Gard against Marquette. While the trapping defense did not create any turnovers or throw Marquette off entirely, it will be something to keep an eye on moving forward this season, because the Badgers obviously have practiced the light press and weren't afraid to use it on Sunday.