No. 9 Wisconsin overcame a slow start offensively to pull away from Nebraska for a 67-53 win to open Big Ten play on Tuesday night at the Kohl Center.
Player of the Game: Micah Potter
Wisconsin trailed 34-33 with 14:03 left in the second half when Potter finally asserted himself on the offensive end. He kicked of a 13-0 run in which he had seven points and assisted on a pair of 3-pointers. The senior big man finished with his first double double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Wisconsin was 19 points better than Nebraska when Potter was on the floor, the second-best mark on the team.
The good: Johnny Davis
While many of Wisconsin’s upperclassmen were struggling in the first half, it was the true freshman that kept the Badgers alive. He scored all seven of his points before the break, going 3-for-4 from the field. He also had five rebounds, including two on the offensive end.
The not so good: The offensive start
While at least some credit should be given to Nebraska, Wisconsin was largely its own enemy in what was a horrendous start offensively to the game. The Badgers missed 15 of their first 16 shots and had just one basket in the opening 12:40 of the first half. They compounded the poor shooting by committing six turnovers in that same time frame. Luckily for them, they were pretty locked in on the defensive end and the biggest deficit they faced was 10, which they eventually erased and took a 25-24 lead into the half.
Stat of the Game: 15-for-15
That’s what Wisconsin went at the foul line against the Huskers. The only time in school history in which the Badgers made more than that without missing came in 1976 when they hit all 22 of their free throws at Purdue.
Top Plays … and plenty of 'em!
Today's 37-point win over #23 Louisville is Wisconsin's largest over an AP Top-25 team in school history pic.twitter.com/PsfBRyl1dC
— Wisconsin wore its alternate uniforms again. The Badgers are now 2-0 in the senior-designed uniforms.
— Freshman Dan Carlson did not suit up for a second straight game. Coach Greg Gard said after the first game he was not cleared medically to take part.
— After shooting 60.5% from beyond the arc in the last two games, the Badgers were just 8-for-26 on 3-pointers.
— On his 23rd birthday, senior Aleem Ford scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
— Senior Brad Davison led Wisconsin with 15 points, the third time he’s led the team in scoring through the first eight games. He also had a career-high seven assists.
— Wisconsin had a season-low 12 fouls. After having 22 fouls in back-to-back games, coach Gard mentioned that playing defense without fouling was line item No. 1 that needed to get fixed ASAP. In the three games since, the Badgers are averaging 14.3 fouls per game.
Wisconsin (7-1, 1-0) will go to No. 12 Michigan State (6-1, 0-1) on Christmas looking to win at the Breslin Center for the first time since 2004.