In a matchup of top 25 teams it was No. 21 Ohio State coming out on top with a 73-55 victory over No. 22 Wisconsin on Saturday.
The Badgers got out to a hot start, going on a 15-2 run to take a 17-9 lead midway through the first half. But the Buckeyes answered with a 12-0 run to take a lead they would not relinquish. They were up by five at the break and pushed it to as many as 23 in the second half as the Badgers couldn’t find the bottom of the net, shooting just 29.4% in the second half and 33.8% for the game. That included a 6-for-26 (23.1%) effort from beyond the arc.
That was Wisconsin’s worst game on offense in almost four years. Ohio State held the Badgers to 0.77 points per possession.
Wisconsin struggled to deal with Ohio State big man E.J. Liddell. He had 15 points at the half and finished with 28. He added nine rebounds and four assists. The Buckeyes also got 11 points and nine rebounds from Zed Key, while Kyle Young had 14 rebounds. As a team, the Buckeyes shot 50% for the game.
Sophomore Johnny Davis and senior Brad Davison scored 24 of Wisconsin’s 29 points in the first half and combined for 37 in the game. Davis had 24 points (11-for-22 FG), his sixth game of 20 or more points. His 11 made field goals were the same number as the rest of his teammates combined. The guard added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Center Chris Vogt had seven points and two rebounds off the bench, but the Badgers got very little offensively from anyone else. The other three starters — Chucky Hepburn, Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl — combined to shoot 3-for-18 and totaled just eight points.
The loss snapped Wisconsin’s six-game winning streak and dropped the team to 1-1 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes improved to 2-0 in the league.
The Badgers will get back into non-conference play Wednesday when they host Nicholls State.