In the aftermath of Wednesday's painful loss to Virginia, Wisconsin set forth a solid showing in Sunday afternoon's 81-56 win over the California Golden Bears at the Kohl Center. Ben Brust led the Badgers (5-3) with 2 points, while Jared Berggren added 18 and Ryan Evans scored 13. Berggren also nearly missed his first career double-double, finishing with eight rebounds.
Cal (6-1) boasts a sizable lineup that out-rebounded each of its first six opponents with an average of 41.0 per game, though Wisconsin finished with a 36-30 advantage in that area. Granted, the the Bears have not been tested nearly as much as the Badgers have; they've played CSU Bakersfield, Pepperdine, Denver, Drake, Georgia Tech and Pacific so far.
Mike Bruesewitz, who admitted displeasure with his play against Virginia, also tied for the team-high with eight rebounds. He added eight points -- all in the second half -- and five steals in one of his finer hustle efforts.
Wisconsin came out somewhat cold, taking four minutes to score until Brust nailed a three. That triggered a 19-4 run over the next six minutes. Overall, the Badgers shot 51.7 percent (30-of-58) from the field. They also reached the free throw line 25 times after getting there only five times against Virginia -- though they made just 14 (56 percent) of those free throws.
For Cal, Allen Crabbe -- the Pac-12's scoring leader with 22.0 points per game entering today -- led with 25 points. After Crabbe sunk two free throws at the 15:00 mark in the first half to give the Bears a 6-5 lead, Cal never led for the remainder of the game. Their biggest deficit was 29, at the 4:39 mark.
In addition to their rebounding difficulties, the Bears also committed 22 turnovers to the Badgers' 13.
Out of halftime, the Badgers quickly built a 9-0 run to lead 48-29 at the 15:01 mark.