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Game notes: Wisconsin 67, Nebraska 53

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After an extremely rough start, the Badgers settled in and won their first conference game of the season.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (7-1 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) opened up the conference portion of their schedule with a comfortable 67-53 win over the visiting Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-4 overall, 0-1 Big Ten). After an extremely shaky start (at one point the Badgers were 1-for-16 from the field) Wisconsin turned it on heading into halftime and then blew the game open after the break.

Here are some fun facts courtesy of the UW Athletic Department, highlights and quotes from the win.

  • The Badgers extended their home winning streak to 15 games, the longest active home win streak in the Big Ten.
  • The Badgers are 4-2 in Big Ten openers under Greg Gard and have won their last three in a row.
  • UW won its ninth straight Big Ten game dating back to last season, the team’s longest conference win streak since winning 10 in a row during the 2014-15 season.
  • The Badgers won their fifth straight against Nebraska and moved to 19-14 all-time against the Huskers. That includes a mark of 13-4 since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011.
  • Wisconsin held Nebraska to a season-low 53 points. The Huskers entered the game averaging 81.6 points per game.
  • After going 15-for-15 from the charity stripe on Tuesday night, the Badgers now lead the Big Ten in free throw shooting 128-for-166 (.771) on the season.
  • UW finished the first half connecting on 8 of its final 13 field goal attempts (61.5%) after starting the game just 1-for-16 from the floor.
  • Wisconsin finished with 11 turnovers. Dating back to last season, the Badgers have turned the ball over 11 or fewer times in 27 consecutive games.
  • Senior F Micah Potter posted his first double-double of the season (and fifth of his career) with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Potter has scored in double figures in four straight games, and six of UW’s eight contests on the season.
  • Senior G Brad Davison hit double digits for the fourth consecutive game, scoring a team-high 15 points, and set a career high with seven assists. Davison went 3-for-5 from three-point range and is now shooting 16-for-34 (.471) from deep on the season.
  • Senior F Aleem Ford finished with 13 points and a season-high eight rebounds. Ford has scored in double figures in five of eight games this season.
  • Senior G D’Mitrik Trice had his worst game of the season, scoring seven points on 3-of-13 shooting and having one assist compared to three turnovers. He still grabbed four rebounds and played his usual solid defense and Davison picked up the distribution slack for him.
  • Freshman G Jonathan Davis had seven points, six rebounds and was a game-high +26 in his 24 minutes of action. Every game he seems to be the spark of the bench that this team needs to kick it into gear.

Micah Potter

  • On the rough early start, “Gotta give Nebraska credit, they came out with a lot of physicality and toughness.”
  • “The energy comes from the defensive side of the floor.”
  • Potter doesn’t think that this being a “sandwich game” between two ranked teams affected UW’s mindset.
  • On distributing from down low out to the three point line, “If you attack the paint and get kick out threes I think the percentages around the country are higher.”

Greg Gard

  • Gard thought that the defense was really good and “held down the fort” until the ball started going in the bucket.
  • He mentioned Jonathan Davis and Trevor Anderson as key sparks off the bench.
  • “There are going to be nights you struggle to score...are there other ways you can keep your team in it?”
  • “Don’t let missing shots raise your blood pressure.” Gard noted that defensive lapses and turnovers could raise it.
  • “I think the fact that they understand how important it is...they want to be the best defensive team in the country.” Gard also likes the defensive versatility he can roll out with some of his lineups that only have one big man.

Brad Davison

  • “Our defense saved us in the first half...kept us within striking range.”
  • On how the team was able to stay focused while shots weren’t falling, “There are a lot of different ways for you to bring value to the game without you scoring.”
  • On the Huskers defense forcing some tough shots early, “Nebraska was a new challenge for us for with their length and their willingness to switch one through five.”
  • On his behind the back pass to Aleem Ford, “I’ve never done it before...I’m glad it worked out or else coach Gard probably wouldn’t have been a happy camper.”