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Wisconsin men’s basketball: Badgers win ugly against Nicholls

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Wisconsin narrowly beat Nicholls State on Wednesday night after a rough first half.

Nicholls State v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

MADISON — After a tough road loss in Big Ten play to Ohio State last weekend, the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball (9-2 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) had a nice bounce-back opportunity against Nicholls State on Wednesday night.

Without leading scorer Johnny Davis, who was out with an apparent illness (non-COVID related), the Badgers avoided embarrassment with a second-half comeback to take down Nicholls 71-68.

Early in the game, Nicholls was able to snag an early lead at the first media timeout as the Badgers began the game only 2-of-8 from the floor. The Colonels did a good job of attacking the rim, and Wisconsin was slow with help defense. As a result, Nicholls State had a six-point lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half.

The Badgers would trim the lead down to three by the next media timeout, but Nicholls State continued to out-hustle Wisconsin to push the lead back up to six with 3:53 left in the first half. Over the final few minutes, the Badgers defense was still pathetic, as Nicholls State managed to take the lead into halftime.

Early in the second half very little changed defensively. Nicholls State was still red hot from the floor and was able to penetrate the lane. The Badgers did pick it up a bit on offense by making four of their first seven shots, but Nicholls State still held a nine-point advantage at the first media timeout.

Brad Davison took matters into his own hands over the next minute with five straight points to pull the Badgers within four to force a Nicholls State timeout though. By the 12-minute mark, Chris Vogt and Ben Carlson would give Wisconsin a 48-46 edge for the first time since the first sixteen seconds of the game.

Wisconsin would maintain a narrow 52-50 advantage into the next media timeout but would get their offense going to take a seven-point lead late in the game. The Colonels would not relent though and tightened the score to only three with 34 seconds left in the game. A Brad Davison missed free throw would give Nicholls State some late life, but in the end Ty Gordon was unable to convert on a corner three to tie, and the Badgers were able to escape with a three-point win.

Notable stat lines:

  • Brad Davison —> 19 points (5-of-12 from the floor), one rebound, two assists
  • Tyler Wahl —> 12 points (4-of-8 from the floor), four rebounds, two assists
  • Chris Vogt —> nine points (4-of-7 from the floor), seven rebounds, one assist
  • Ty Gordon (Nicholls State) —> 26 points (10-of-25 from the floor), two rebounds, two assists

Up next: The Badgers will be back at the Kohl Center next Thursday, December 23 vs. Morgan State. The game will be aired on Big Ten Network at 6 p.m. CT.