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Wisconsin men’s basketball: Badgers score a conference win at Nebraska

Wisconsin wins against Nebraska with Tyler Wahl back in the lineup.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Nebraska Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

After suffering only their second Big Ten loss of the season on Friday night against Michigan State, the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (16-3 overall, 7-2 Big Ten) was back in action on Thursday afternoon for a road tilt with the basement-dwelling Nebraska Cornhuskers.

UW welcomed back starting forward Tyler Wahl who missed the Michigan State loss due to an ankle injury, and ultimately, while he was not overly productive, the Badgers took care of business to leave Lincoln with another conference win.

Early in the game, Nebraska would connect on their first five shot attempts to take a quick 11-10 lead into the first media timeout. Even with “Big” Steven Crowl off to a strong start with five points, the Cornhuskers were able to take advantage of Wisconsin’s less than stellar defense.

Wisconsin would go on an extended scoring drought, but Brad Davison would keep them in the game with a big three-pointer. Despite some poor shooting overall, the Badgers were able to keep up with Nebraska into the next media timeout largely because of their ability to crash the offensive glass.

Chucky Hepburn and Davison (who set the program record for three pointers on Thursday) would go on a three-point shooting streak shortly thereafter though, and by the eight minute mark the duo had combined for six made threes to give the Badgers a 26-21.

Even with Johnny Davis unable to get going, Wisconsin managed to ride Davison’s hot hand to push their lead to seven with three minutes remaining in the half. The Badgers would go on to take an eight-point edge into halftime.

In the second half, Crowl would add five straight points and Ben Carlson would have a fast-break dunk to give the Badgers a 12-point lead at the first media timeout. Wisconsin’s defense was much improved in the early moments of the half, as Nebraska opened missing six of their first seven shots from the field.

The lead would eventually balloon to as much as 18 points with 10:51 remaining in the game as Johnny Davis started to get going offensive, but Nebraska would muster a comeback to make the lead only nine with 7:15 left on the clock. A string of Wisconsin turnovers sparked the change in fortune for the Badgers as they had a four minute scoring drought.

Wisconsin would force back-to-back turnovers to give them a double-digit lead back shortly thereafter, and from that point forward the Badgers would coast to hold on to an eight-point win.

Notable stat lines:

  • Brad Davison —> 21 points (6-of-14 from the floor), seven rebounds, four assists, three steals
  • Johnny Davis —> 13 points (5-of-12 from the floor), nine rebounds, two assists
  • Chucky Hepburn —> 13 points (5-of-9 from the floor), three rebounds, three steals
  • Bryce McGowens (Nebraska) —> 23 points (7-of-14 from the floor), four rebounds

Up next: The Badgers will have a relatively quick turnaround, as they welcome rival Minnesota to the Kohl Center on Sunday. Tip time is set for noon CT and the game is scheduled to be aired on Big Ten Network.