John Blackwell scores 18, Badgers snap 2-game skid

Wisconsin overcame another uneven performance to beat Robert Morris 78-68 on Friday night at the Kohl Center.

The Badgers led 45-43 with 13:46 left when freshman John Blackwell entered the game for the first time in the second half. The guard proceeded to turn the game on its head, getting a steal and assist before scoring 18 points in the final 11:26. It included a pair of 3-pointers and going 8-for-10 from the line.

That effort was buoyed by 18 points from Tyler Wahl and 16 points from Steven Crowl, performances that came just days after coach Greg Gard took them to task in his postgame press conference for not finishing. Wahl went 5-for-5 from the floor and 8-for-12 at the free throw line, while Crowl shot 7-for-9 from the field. The duo also combined for 13 rebounds.

Robert Morris kept itself in the game thanks to some hot outside shooting. The Colonials went 7-for-15 from deep in the first half and 6-14 after the break. They shot 46.2% overall, meaning Wisconsin’s opponents are now hitting 48.1% of their shots. It’s the first time the Badgers have allowed their opponents to shoot at least 40% in the first four games of a season since 2013-14.

Wisconsin’s struggles from beyond the arc carried over from its last two games, as the team went 3-for-13. For the game, though, the Badgers shot 53.8%, helped in large part by its 42 points in the paint.

Chucky Hepburn finished with nine points, five assists, four rebounds, three steals and three turnovers. AJ Storr had eight points, while Kamari McGee added six points off the bench.

The Badgers improved to 2-2 on the year and will face Virginia on Monday in the Fort Myers Tip-Off.