12:31am CDT, 08/23/14
NCAA Basketball: Bowling Green at Wisconsin
Nov 21, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Sam Dekker (15) attempts to move ball around Bowling Green forward Richaun Holmes (22) at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Balancing Act: Badgers display depth in win over Bowling Green



MADISON, Wis. -- Even on a modest night for Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin's suddenly high-powered offense put up big numbers again.

Ben Brust scored 19 points to lead six players in double figures as the No. 12 Badgers beat Bowling Green 88-64 on Thursday.

Kaminsky added 14 points two days after scoring a school-record 43. Wisconsin reached 88 points in consecutive games for the first time since November 2005.

"You kind of have to approach this team as who are we going to take away today, and who are we going to focus on?" said Wisconsin's Sam Dekker, who also scored 14 points. "But there's always going to be two, three, four other guys who are going to be able to hit a big shot or make a play. We have four, five guys that any night could easily lead our team in scoring."
 

It was another up-tempo performance on offense for Wisconsin, which has had a reputation as a grind-it-out team during coach Bo Ryan's tenure.

After averaging 65 points last season, the Badgers (5-0) are scoring 81 per game in the early going.

Ryan insisted his team isn't doing anything different than what he's preached his entire coaching career.

"If we can get something in transition, we're going to take it, and if not, you're going to guard because we're going to try to get a really good shot," Ryan said.

Still, he acknowledged the success Wisconsin has had in that endeavor.

"We've been able to get some buckets, but maybe it's the other teams adjusting to the new rules," he said.

Traevon Jackson had 13 points, Josh Gasser 11 and Bronson Koenig 10.

Spencer Parker led Bowling Green (1-2) with 17 points, and Jehvon Clarke added 15.

The Badgers also are giving up more points than Ryan is used to, allowing almost 69 per game after holding opponents under 56 a season ago.

"I definitely don't think we're happy at all with our defensive performance," Gasser said. "Sixty-four is still too much, too many points in the paint, too many uncontested layups, easy buckets we're not accustomed to giving up. We're still working through some things. I think it's better than last game, but not where we want to be."

Wisconsin took control a little more than midway through the first half. With the Badgers up 23-22, Dekker started a 16-4 run by converting a three-point play and then Wisconsin began to hit from outside. Jackson, Brust and Duje Dukan each made a 3-pointer during the spurt.

Brust added another 3 before the half was over, and Wisconsin went into the break up 44-28.

With the Badgers starting to run away with the game in the second half, Bowling Green went to a full-court press that at least slowed Wisconsin temporarily.

The Falcons were able to cut a 24-point deficit to 14.

"When teams press us, you have to make it into your favor, get through it, get easy buckets off of it," Gasser said. "We got rattled a little bit, had a couple turnovers. Ten turnovers in the game is a little too much, but definitely that press took us out of rhythm."

But going to the press also came at a price. Bowling Green started racking up fouls and sending Wisconsin to the free throw line.

Falcons guard JD Tisdale was whistled for his fourth with just more than 8 minutes to go, and Parker picked up his fourth 30 seconds later. Tisdale was called for his fifth with more than 6 minutes to play, and Bowling Green got away from the press in the final minutes.

Falcons coach Louis Orr said the press wasn't the only thing that got the Falcons into foul trouble. Still, he said being a pressing team with the new emphasis on hand-checking and other defensive moves is not easy.

"Maybe Rick Pitino or something can do it," Orr said of the Louisville coach whose team won the national title last season. "But with the new rules it's hard."

 

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