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Wisconsin basketball: UW-Green Bay recap

The Phoenix never rose from the ashes, as the Badgers win 88-70.

Credit Dan Sanger

Four days after taking down Marquette, the Wisconsin Badgers (4-1 overall) men’s basketball team had their last home tune-up game of sorts prior to traveling to New York for the Legends Classic.

Wisconsin welcomed the in-state Green Bay Phoenix (1-3 overall) to the Kohl Center, and left no doubt as the Badgers never trailed on their way to winning handily 88-70.

The Badgers were evidently salty after Micah Potter was once again denied immediate eligibility, and the visiting Phoenix took the brunt of that anger.

Wisconsin jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead in the first minute of game action. Nate Reuvers started the game hot by hitting his first two shots, both of which were from deep, to extend the Badger lead to 16-4 at the first media timeout.

The Badgers hot shooting then cooled down due to some sloppy offensive possessions for a brief period, but Wisconsin rallied in a big way due to some great three-point shooting once again. Wisconsin ended up up shooting 10-of-19 from behind the arc in the first half to help them take a 51-29 lead into the intermission.

Brad Davison was in and out of the lineup because of an ankle injury for the early part of the second half, but the Badgers were able to jump out to a 25 point lead in the early stages due to some continued strong shooting.

Green Bay weathered the storm though, and was able to take advantage of some Wisconsin mistakes and go on an 13-2 run over a four minute stretch to tighten the game back up with Reuvers out battling foul trouble.

Wisconsin did some tightening of their own on the defensive end, and kept Green Bay from scoring for a five minute stretch near the end of the game, to help the real UW pull away and finish off the Phoenix 88-70.

For the game, the Badgers had six players score in double figures, and they did a nice job distributing the ball, with 23 total assists. Greg Gard noted in the postgame media session that he was proud of the teams unselfishness and the balanced attack.

Notable stat lines:

  • Brad Davison—> 15 points (4-of-8 from the floor), five rebounds, three assists
  • D’Mitrik Trice —> 11 points (3-of-7 from the floor), eight rebounds, seven assists
  • Aleem Ford —> 12 points (5-of-11 from the floor), five rebounds, two assists
  • Nate Reuvers —> 19 points (8-of-12 from the floor), three rebounds, two assists

Three things that stood out

No. 1: Three-point shenanigans

In the first half, the Badgers took 30 total shots. Of that total, 19 were taken from three-point land. A big reason for that high volume was the success that Wisconsin was having. The Badgers made 52.6% of their three-point attempts in the first half of action.

In the second half, the Badgers slowed their roll a smidge, but still shot 41.7% from behind the arc. For the game, Greg Gard’s crew made 15 three-pointers on 31 shots.

If Wisconsin can continue to shoot so well from deep, they will undoubtedly be a team to be reckoned with in the Big Ten according to Green Bay head coach Linc Darner. He said that this year’s Wisconsin team is a “tough matchup” because of their size, and the ability to have five shooters on the floor at the same time.

No. 2: Trice is right

D’Mitrik Trice had a tremendous game. The junior point guard has had an up and down first few games, but he was a swiss army knife against UW-Green Bay. He ended up scoring 11 points, but he distributed the ball extremely well with seven assists. In addition to is work offensively, Trice snagged eight rebounds.

Overall, Trice has looked much better these past two weeks. After shutting down Markus Howard of Marquette, he did a little bit of everything against the Phoenix on Thursday night. If he can continue to be a solid floor general and also help the team out on the defensive and rebounding front as he has, it could go a long way in helping this team reach its potential.

No. 3: Party Foul

Junior big man Nate Reuvers has found himself in considerable foul trouble these past three games. After only playing in 21 minutes against McNeese State because of four fouls, he had three personal fouls against Marquette later in the week.

Against Green Bay, Reuvers picked up his fourth foul with 12:14 still to play in the second half. In his absence Green Bay was able to attack the rim and ended up scoring 36 points in the paint on the Badgers for the game, with a good portion of those coming with Reuvers out of the game.

Without a true rim protector on the bench behind Reuvers, at least for the next month until Micah Potter is eligible, Reuvers will need to be better at staying out of foul trouble. Wisconsin cannot afford to have him on the bench for large chunks of time, as freshman Tyler Wahl is only 6-foot-7 and is still learning on the fly.