Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Three-pointer assault carries Wisconsin over Bowling Green, 88-64

Rarely do basketball games finish just like they started. There’s usually a change of pace here, and acceleration there. However, rarely do games change direction quite like they did Thursday night in Wisconsin’s 88-64 victory over Bowling Green.

It was a sandwich formation of stretches for Wisconsin (5-0), with the meat of the meal coming at the end of the first half and beginning of the second. Bo Ryan met his team at the Kohl Center sideline with just less than 10 minutes remaining for the under-12 minutes media timeout.

The Badgers lineup that topped 100 points Tuesday night against North Dakota — the first time Wisconsin had done so since 1995 — continued to have no problems scoring the ball. However, they also continued to have difficulty keeping their opponent from doing so as well.


Their Mid-American Conference opponent had kept pace with the Badgers until that point, a 20-20 tie digitally draped across the scoreboard.

Taking the first possession out of the break, sophomore forward Sam Dekker hit a three-pointer, the team’s third of the game, just a few minutes after guards Traevon Jackson and Bronson Koenig hit the first two.

It would start an offensive surge for Wisconsin, led largely from beyond the arc. In the Badgers’ eight possessions from the 6-minute mark until less than a minute remained, four of them were capped off by treys, leading the 24-8 breakaway run before halftime. Jackson hit his second three while senior guard Ben Brust tossed in a pair during the stretch.

“We were right there, at 23-22, eight minutes to go,” Bowling Green (1-2) head coach Louis Orr said. “That was the difference in the game. We stopped scoring and we couldn’t stop them.”

The trend continued into the second half as well. Two of Wisconsin’s three buckets after halftime — from Brust again as well as Dekker — continued the three-pointer barrage and lengthened the differential to 23 at 53-30, the gap Wisconsin needed to cruise toward the final buzzer.

It was an extremely different style of game than the one seen during the first 10 minutes.

Early on, the attack was focused at the tin. At that 9:44 TV timeout, when the game began to change course, Wisconsin had scored five buckets in the paint. The Badgers were an aggressor, but not the only aggressor. Bowling Green kept pace off the dribble with constant action toward the hoop. 18 of their first half points came in the paint, 10 of them from 6-foot-10 center, Cameron Black.

Wisconsin’s bigs weren’t in foul trouble, nor was there a surplus of turnovers. Simply put, each team was getting to the rim and each team was finishing. Neither squad extended a lead more than four before Wisconsin’s three-pointer onslaught.

The Badgers converted 12 of their 20 three-point tries on the night, the second game in a row that they garnered a 60 percent mark from distance. With 14 assists to boot, it was a sharing offense that helped Wisconsin pull away.

“That’s an area where we know it’s a strength,” UW head coach Bo Ryan said of the sharing tendencies leading to a balanced offense. “The offensive efficiency, those numbers are speaking for themselves to this point.”

Points came across the board for Wisconsin. Six players reached double-digits for the game, Brust leading all scorers with 19 points, followed by Dekker and 43-point overnight celebrity Frank Kaminsky with 14 apiece.

“We have almost a different leading scorer every night,” Dekker said. “You have to approach this team with ‘who are we going to take away’ … but there’s always going to be two, three, four other guys that are going to be able to hit a big shot.”

Koenig was one of those guys who played a key role off the bench for Wisconsin. His pump fake and assist tallied the first of Wisconsin’s three-pointers in addition to knocking down a pair of his own, finishing with a career-high 10 points.

The Wisconsin lead stretched to 25 with 13 minutes left, but that’s where the meat of the meal ended Thursday night and the script turned again — this time less drastically.

Bowling Green entered a 1-2-2 full court trapping press that forced Wisconsin to eat away at their possession time tossing the ball back and forth in the backcourt. Lazy passes to the middle of the offensive and sideline led to four Wisconsin turnovers in the next two-and-a-half minutes.

Although the game was chiefly in hand at that point, the lean, swarming athleticism of Bowling Green gave Wisconsin a few minutes worth of fits until they settled in and excessive fouls put them at the free throw line in the bonus.

“When teams press us you’ve got to make it into your favor, get through it and get easy buckets off of it,” junior guard Josh Gasser said. “ We kind of got rattled a little bit. 10 turnovers on the game was a little bit too much … but at the same time, it was late in the game.”

At that point, the three-pointers had built a lead almost incapable of surrendering as Wisconsin outscored Bowling Green 36-3 from beyond the arc. At that rate, it’s hard to lose a basketball game.

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 *