Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Men’s basketball: Badgers looking to push streak to four wins

Wisconsin will have easier competition, but can’t let their guard down against Illinois
Husker Corner

The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team is in the midst of a resurgence.

After riding a three-game winning streak, the Badgers now find themselves sitting at 12-9 overall, 4-4 Big Ten and looking at the cusp of a potential NCAA Tournament berth.

They will now travel to Champaign to face Illinois (10-10 overall, 2-5 Big Ten), a team that hasn’t fared so well this season.


Last time out

UW welcomed No. 19 Indiana to the Kohl Center Tuesday, coming out on top, 82-79, in an overtime thriller that kept the Hoosiers from breaking their losing streak in Madison, which dates back to 1998.

In pictures: Wisconsin vs. No. 19 Indiana

Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell, who put up 30 points and recorded two steals and an assist, was unable to out duel Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes (31 points, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals) in a tense contest. The adversaries dueled for the majority of the night, with Hayes eventually coming out on top.

While turnovers ultimately determined the outcome, 19-16 in favor of Wisconsin, there was plenty to be happy about for UW head coach Greg Gard.

The Badgers often found themselves getting to the rim and put the Hoosiers into foul trouble early, with Hayes attempting 22 total free throws by the game’s end.

Wisconsin’s keys to victory

Strong efforts off the bench

Jordan Hill made himself known to Badgers fans against Indiana.

The redshirt sophomore went 5-5 from the field for 13 points and a block, and while he never recorded a steal in the game, he continually tipped passes and knocked the ball out of Ferrell’s hands to disrupt Indiana’s offense.

Redshirt freshman Aaron Moesch joined Hill as well. His lockdown defense kept Indiana’s perimeter in check and out of the paint, securing a rebound and steal in the process.

Their efforts helped keep the Badgers in the game when starters needed a break, giving Gard the confidence to take out Hayes and Bronson Koenig for periods of much-needed rest.

Keep Happ going

Ethan Happ showed his potential on a big stage against Indiana, adding to the already impressive season he has had.

His 25 points took pressure off Hayes and allowed Koenig to distribute rather than force contested shots.

Happ’s ability to beat defenders off the post was impeccable considering his lack of a jump shot, and Indiana’s defenders knowing so. Even when Indiana collapsed their zone on a driving Happ, he was able to knock down a tough hook or pass out of the play.

While the caliber of play Happ exhibited Tuesday night won’t be needed every game, he needs to maintain his high rate of play down the stretch.

Opposing player to watch: Malcolm Hill

Hill, a junior, leads the Illini in points (18.7) and assists (3.4) and is second in rebounds (5.9).

His skill set makes him Illinois’ all-around best player and he will require heavy defense to contain. Illinois plays a dangerous game, though.

They live and die by Hill’s performances, relying heavily on him to provide points, much as Wisconsin relied on Hayes in the early portion of the season.

While it will be no easy task to contain Hill, if Wisconsin is able to, Illinois’ offense will be decimated without his production.

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 *