Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Poor ball control haunts Badgers

In a game that was not decided until the final minutes, Wisconsin doomed itself with costly mistakes that helped Marquette pull away with a victory Saturday.

Though entering the contest averaging over 13 more rebounds per game than their opponents — the fifth best team in that category in the country — the Badgers, even with a taller lineup, were outrebounded by the Golden Eagles 41-34.

"You still got to get position, you still got to go get the ball, and tonight wasn't one of those nights when we laid bodies on people," Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said of the differential. "We weren't as fundamentally sound on our blockouts and it was pretty evident."


For Marquette, its ability to compete with Wisconsin on the boards was critical to success against the bigger squad.

"We didn't feel we could compete at the highest level with Wisconsin if we weren't doing a great job of rebounding," Marquette head coach Tom Crean said.

Especially concerning for UW was that MU was able to grab 19 offensive boards, five of them coming in the final 2:12 of play that helped propelled the team to pull away late.

"Toughness always prevails," Eagle guard Jerel McNeal said. "That's what rebounding is all about, our ability to be tough."

Brian Butch, Wisconsin's and the Big Ten's leading rebounder, entered the game averaging 9.1 rebounds per game, but only grabbed five boards Saturday, all of them on the offensive end.

"I was very disappointed with myself," Butch said. "As a 7-footer you can't have zero defensive rebounds. That's unacceptable."

Five Wisconsin players finished with five rebounds while Marquette's Dwight Burke pulled down a game-high nine boards.

When they were able to grab a rebound and take possession, the Badgers found a new way to struggle, turning the ball over a season-high 19 times which the Eagles were able to turn into 22 points of their own.

"This is what our team is predicated on, tough hard-nosed defense," McNeal said. "That was definitely one of the keys."

McNeal led Marquette with five steals, but many of Wisconsin's turnovers came on miscommunications that led to balls being thrown away.

"I can look at the film, and I'll go, 'Why would he have made that pass?'" Ryan said. "You can't turn the ball over like that against a good team.

"We threw the ball away too many times."

Trevon Hughes was the worst Wisconsin offender, turning over the ball four times while Joe Krabbenhoft, Greg Stiemsma and Marcus Landry coughed it up three times apiece.

"I'm the point guard on the team — I can't have four turnovers," Hughes said.

Wisconsin averaged 12 turnovers per game through its first seven contests, and its previous high had come on the road at Duke when UW turned the ball over 18 times in the hostile environment which was quite a contrast to the friendly Kohl Center.

Despite the rebounding difficulties and the miscues with the ball, Wisconsin still found itself very much in the game in the second half, but a 12-for-22 second half free throw performance helped to sink the Badgers.

"Crunch time, we have to knock them down," Hughes said. "We usually make those shots."

Wisconsin hit all three of its attempts in the first half, but finished the game with a 15-of-25 mark.

Hughes finished the game shooting just 7-of-13 from the line even though the sophomore entered the game as a 76 percent shooter. As a team, the Badgers were shooting 71 percent before their 60 percent mark Saturday.

Despite the misses, UW head coach Bo Ryan was pleased with the way the team was able to get to the stripe late in the game.

"We got to the line, that's encouraging," Ryan said. "I like the fact that we got there, we attacked the rim.

"By not coming away with the points when we had the chance to get them, [we had] better find them somewhere else or stop the other team."

Wisconsin's inability to do either of those things down the stretch made the missed free throws especially critical in the loss.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *