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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Taylor takes over game, proves to be difference

With starting point guard Trevon Hughes limited to just six minutes in the first half, sophomore Jordan Taylor stepped up in a big way to lead the Badgers with 23 points against No. 4 Purdue.[/media-credit]

With just under 14 minutes to play in the first half and his team leading 10-6, Wisconsin senior guard Trevon Hughes turned the ball over and proceeded to pick up his second foul of the game just seconds later.

At that point, only 6:24 into the Badgers’ Saturday afternoon matchup on Jan. 9 with No. 4 Purdue, UW head coach Bo Ryan was forced to call on sophomore Jordan Taylor to take over as Wisconsin’s point guard for the remainder of the first half.

Taylor’s response, according to Purdue head coach Matt Painter, was a deciding factor in the outcome of Wisconsin’s 73-66 victory.


“Taylor was the difference in the game,” Painter said. “Any time you can bring somebody off the bench and get 23 points on 11 shots that’s pretty impressive.”

Of his 23 points, Taylor scored 13 in the first half while playing 17 minutes as Hughes was limited to just six.

His ability to take the game over when forced to lead the Wisconsin offense for such an extended period was something that impressed his head coach. Ryan even went as far as to credit Taylor as the reason Wisconsin was able to lead at the half.

“When you have a point guard like Trevon Hughes go to the bench and you’ve got 14, 13 whatever minutes left to go, you’re dogging the point guard and he’s got to bring the ball up for the next 13 minutes in the first half and we’re still hanging in there at halftime, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that, that was the game right there,” Ryan said.

“Very easily, with the way they do things, that could have been a 10-15 point half in their favor,” Ryan continued. “You tell me how it was that score at halftime? My answer would be because of Jordan Taylor.”

When Taylor replaced Hughes in the first half, he committed two quick turnovers.

As a result, the UW offense slowed down and struggled to score, allowing Purdue to go on an 8-0 run to take a 14-10 lead with 10:46 to go in the half. The Boilermakers would lead for more than five minutes before the Badgers tied it at 20 points apiece.

Not surprisingly, it was Taylor who got things going again for Wisconsin offensively.

“(I had) two pretty bad turnovers as soon as I got out there, and we got pretty stagnant after that,” Taylor said. “I was responsible for the offense getting stagnant in the first place, so I was trying to make things happen and trying to open up the court.”

Taylor did just that, scoring 13 of the Badgers’ final 16 points before the break. More importantly, though, the 6-foot-1 guard from Bloomington, Minn., did not turn the ball over in the game’s final 30 minutes.

As he watched the young guard from the bench, Hughes liked what he saw in Taylor as well as his fellow captain, senior guard Jason Bohannon.

“They showed some good leadership out there,” Hughes said. “They kept their poise and (stayed) calm and the guys out there fed off them. … They picked up the slack for me and Jon (Leuer) and Keaton (Nankivil) when we were in foul trouble. Good job, Jordan.”

That slack was a combined 6-for-23 shooting night by Hughes, Leuer and Nankivil, who combined for 20 points, though the bigs had just six of those, and Hughes accounted for 14.

Taylor and Bohannon picked it up in a big way, combining for 43 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the floor and 14-of-17 from the free throw line.

Add Hughes’ 14 points — nine of which came in the second half — on a perfect shooting night (3-for-3 from the floor, 2-for-2 from 3-point range and 6-for-6 from the line) for the native of Queens, N.Y., and the Wisconsin guards accounted for nearly 80 percent of the Badgers’ points in the content.

When asked after the game if he was disappointed to be trailing by one at the half when three of the Badgers’ starters went 0-for-12 in the period, Painter simply pointed to the UW guard trio of Hughes, Taylor and Bohannon.

“You could think about how good the other guys were,” Painter said. “I think that’s the storyline here is that those guards were pretty good today.”

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