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Wisconsin men’s basketball: Badgers take down UW-Green Bay

Wisconsin improved to 2-0 on the season with a 72-34 win over UWGB.

Green Bay v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Fresh off of an opening game win over Saint Francis Brooklyn earlier in the week, the Wisconsin Badgers (2-0 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) were back on the hardwood Friday night against UW-Green Bay (0-2 overall, 0-0 Horizon).

On a night when former Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan was honored, the Badgers took care of his son Will Ryan and the Phoenix by 38 points.

Playing without reserve guard Jahcobi Neath, the Badgers jumped out to a 12-4 advantage by the 14:25 mark as Brad Davison and Jonathan Davis got things going on the offensive end. UW-Green Bay punched back with a 6-0 run, but Wisconsin pursued to go on an 11-0 run of their own over the next few minutes.

The Badgers would continue to distance themselves from the Phoenix to take a 30-13 lead with 2:25 to play and ultimately went into the intermission sporting a 24-point edge.

Very little changed in the second half, as the Badgers went on an 11-point run early to extend their lead. UW-Green Bay could not muster much of anything on the offensive end, while Wisconsin put it in cruise control on the other end.

Greg Gard was once again able to unload the bench and allow his young bunch to earn valuable minutes in the blowout. The Badgers finished the Phoenix off with relative ease, winning 72-34.

Notable stat lines:

  • Jonathan Davis —> 15 points (5-of-16 from the floor), five rebounds, two assists
  • Brad Davison —> 15 points (5-of-8 from the floor), three rebounds, two assists
  • Steven Crowl —> 18 points (7-of-11 from the floor), seven rebounds

Three things that stood out:

No. 1: Paint patrol

From the jump, the Badgers did a lot of their damage on the offensive end in the paint, scoring 14 of their first 18 points inside. UW-Green Bay had no answer for Steven Crowl in the low post and Jonathan Davis slashing to the dish, as they combined for 33 points. In total Wisconsin finished the game with 32 of their 72 points from inside the paint, and made 90% of their FT opportunities.

A big reason why Wisconsin worked the ball inside was their inability to hit from deep at times. Up until a late three by Chucky Hepburn to close out the first half the Badgers were shooting only 25% from three. In the second half, it was the same story as Wisconsin finished shooting only 24% from deep, so that is one area that they will need to continue to improve at this season.

No. 2: Steven Crowl

One player who really stood out against Green Bay was 7-footer Steven Crowl. His offensive game was on full display, as he was able to score inside and out.

Crowl’s footwork in the post is still developing, but overall he played a very good game against the much shorter Phoenix. He did a great job of running the floor and hunting his shot in transition, as well as in half-court sets. His ability to step out and hit from long-range was impressive and that should force teams to respect him around the perimeter and open up driving lanes for Jonathan Davis and others.

On the night, Crowl finished shooting an efficient 7-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-4 from three with a final stat line of 18 points and seven boards.

No. 3: Defense

Wisconsin held UW-Green Bay to only 15 points on 25% of shooting in the first half on Friday night. The Phoenix weren’t able to get anything going all night long and Wisconsin was in firm control throughout the contest. For the game, the Badgers forced 13 turnovers and locked down Green Bay to 24% shooting and 34 total points.

The point guard tandem of Chucky Hepburn and Lorne Bowman was particularly impressive on defense in this game, combining for seven steals and making life tough on the Phoenix backcourt.

It was particularly fitting that on the night that Bo Ryan was honored the Wisconsin defense pulled out all the stops and put together a dominant showing.

Up next: The Badgers will be back in action at the Kohl Center on Monday night, November 15 as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games against Providence. Tip-time is set for 8 p.m. CT and it will be aired on FS1.