clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chucky Hepburn run pushes Badgers past Western Illinois 71-49

The Badgers put together another victory, extending their winning streak to 3.

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Wisconsin Badgers earned their third consecutive victory with a 71-49 win over Western Illinois, improving to 5-2 on the season and 3-1 at the Kohl Center.

It was a collective effort from the Badgers, who got meaningful contributions from their core starters, while the bench produced positive minutes to keep the momentum up.

1st Half

The Badgers relied on their strong inside game heavily in the first half, using their athleticism and power to bully their way in the paint. Scoring 16 points in the paint, the pick and roll, as well as the drive and kick worked great for the Badgers.

A.J. Storr was able to use his quick first step to get past defenders and get to the rack numerous times, converting or ending up at the line for 2 most of the time. The key to these open driving lanes was the great ball movement and off-ball motions for the Badgers. Wahl was able to use his post and driving ability well once again, forcing his way inside and scoring on some very well defended shots. Wahl and Storr combined for 18 of the Badgers 35 first half points.

The three-ball was minimal for the Badgers in the first half, as they took only seven attempts, converting on three of those opportunities. As the focus stayed inside where their game was working, they did not really have a need for the three-ball. Freshman John Blackwell came into the game and immediately knocked down a corner three, continuing his great freshman season, providing a much needed spark plug role for the Badgers.

Coming into the game, the goal for Wisconsin was to slow the game down and not let Western Illinois’s scorers get anything rhythm. Playing tough on-ball defense and contesting around the rim allowed for the Badgers to limit the Leathernecks to only 19 first-half points and helped force seven turnovers.

Controlling the tempo of the game, it was hard for Western Illinois to get any real momentum early and allowed the Badgers to take this game at their pace, getting out to an early 7-0 lead and never looking back.

To finish the half, the Badgers scored on a beautiful dish from Chucky Hepburn inside to Steven Crowl who made it on a second effort, putting the Badgers up 35-19.

2nd Half

The Leathernecks came out of the locker room firing, scoring 15 points to Wisconsin’s 7, cutting the lead to single digits.

Two strong inside finishes from Tyler Wahl, plus threes from Steven Crowl and Max Klesmit kept the Badgers in the lead and kept momentum on their side. The real show came from Chucky Hepburn midway through the second, with game sitting at 48-38 Wisconsin.

Scoring 11 straight points, Hepburn caught fire in a variety of ways, including a huge stepback three over the long arms of Drew Cisse. With the use of the high pick-and-roll, Hepburn was able to get to his spot on the elbow and sink four straight jumpers, leading Wisconsin to a 14-2 run.

Chucky’s offensive outburst combined with the tough, relentless Badger defense put the Badgers up 26 and essentially ended the chance of any comeback from the Western Illinois team.

Steven Crowl, A.J. Storr, and Chucky Hepburn ended the night with 13 points each, and Crowl tacked on 11 boards, 6 of them being offensive rebounds. The next two leading scorers were Tyler Wahl with 12 and Connor Essegian with 6, which came off two threes.