clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wisconsin men’s basketball: Badgers top Golden Eagles for state bragging rights

New, 77 comments

Johnny Davis and Brad Davison starred for UW, while the team’s defense locked up MU for most of the day.

Marquette v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

MADISON — Coming off of a big road win over Georgia Tech earlier in the week, the No. 23 Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (7-1 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) welcomed in-state counterpart Marquette (7-2 overall, 0-0 Big East) Saturday afternoon. Despite losing three of the last four meetings with the Golden Eagles, the Badgers took care of business for a big win.

In the early minutes of the game, Wisconsin was able to snag a quick 11-6 lead thanks to some great ball movement and steady defense. Marquette would respond quickly though to take a lead by the 8:45 mark in the first half as the Badgers struggled to score on offense. missing 10 of 11 shots at one point.

The two teams would go on to trade buckets over the next few minutes, with Marquette holding a five-point lead with three minutes remaining in the half. Over the final minutes though Wisconsin was able to force some key turnovers and convert them on the other end to take a three-point lead into the half.

Marquette got hot coming out of halftime. The Golden Eagles scored seven of the first 11 points in the second half, and quickly tied the game back up at 38 apiece. The Badgers quickly regained the lead, however, as Johnny Davis and Steven Crowl carried them to a 44 to 40 advantage at the first media timeout.

Wisconsin was able to push their lead to 11 with just under 12 minutes remaining, as Marquette got into some early foul trouble and the Badgers made 9-of-10 shots. For the next seven minutes, Wisconsin was able to pour it on as the team shot a remarkable 70.4% in the second half on their way to blow out the Golden Eagles 89 to 76.

Notable stat lines:

  • Johnny Davis —> 25 points (9-of-14 from the floor), five rebounds
  • Brad Davison —> 20 points (6-of-12 from the floor), four rebounds
  • Chucky Hepburn —> 15 points (5-of-8 from the floor), two rebounds, six assists
  • Steven Crowl —> 15 points (6-of-9 from the floor), eight rebounds

Three things that stood out:

No. 1: Around the rim scoring

Wisconsin was unable to finish around the basket frequently in the first half against Marquette. At one point in the first half, the Badgers were 0-for-5 on “layups.” The refs allowed the two teams to play in the first half, and Wisconsin struggled to finish through contact. On the other end, the Golden Eagles did the majority of their damage in the first half in the paint. Of Marquette’s 31 points in the first half, 18 came from the paint.

Roles were reversed in the second half. The Badgers were much better at finishing against contact, while Marquette was unable to muster much on offense. Credit to Greg Gard for the adjustments he made with the on-ball defense in pick-and-roll, as Wisconsin absolutely took it to the Golden Eagles in the second half on both ends of the court.

No. 2: Johnny Davis

Nothing new here, but he is a stud.

Davis has proven to be an absolute difference-maker this season and his ability to create his own shot has differentiated him from any player the Badgers have had since Ethan Happ. His three-point shot is much better than a year ago, making him a tough matchup for any team and someone that opponents have to gameplan around.

Against Marquette, he took over in the second half and proved to be nearly unguardable at times. For the day he finished with 25 points and five rebounds while shooting 64.3% from the floor in 30 minutes. Davis is a special talent, and he is a blast to watch.

As a team, the Badgers shot very well in the second half, but Davis is special.

No. 3: Bench support

In the first half, Marquette got a huge boost from their bench. The reserves managed to score 19 points for the Golden Eagles, with forward Oso Ighodaro doing the bulk of the damage with 11 first-half points off the bench. The redshirt freshman was able to take advantage of some poor pick-and-roll defense by the Badgers on multiple occasions, while Wisconsin only managed one point off the bench for the half.

Lorne Bowman came out and gave the Badgers some great minutes in the second half. The freshman guard added five points in 11 minutes, and at this juncture, he appears to be Wisconsin’s sixth man. The Badgers only finished with seven bench points which is still an area of needed growth moving forward, but Bowman is a player that has made some nice strides of late.

Up next: The Badgers will kick-off Big Ten play next, with the Indiana Hoosiers coming to town on Wednesday evening. Tip-time is set for 6 p.m. CT and it will be aired on Big Ten Network.