No. 15 Wisconsin could not finish off the non-conference portion of its schedule in a positive fashion.
Playing at Western Kentucky on Saturday, the Badgers fell 83-76. The Hilltoppers got 22 points from Tavieon Hollingsworth to lead the way, while Wisconsin was paced by Brad Davison’s 26 points.
The Badgers led by four at halftime but a quick 9-0 run by the home team allowed them to take control of the game. Wisconsin did recover to tie the proceedings at one point, but couldn’t overcome the Hilltoppers hot shooting after the break.
The 83 points by Western Kentucky were the most allowed by the Badgers this season, topping the 75 it gave up in a win over NC State in late November. In the second half alone the Hilltoppers scored 53 points, while shooting 67.9-percent.
Center Ethan Happ had 20 points and 12 rebounds, but shot just 9 of 23 from the floor and fouled out late. Wisconsin’s other consistent scorer this season, point guard D’Mitrik Trice, didn’t hit his first 3-pointer until the final minute of the game. He finished with just nine points, going 4-for-12 from the field.
Wisconsin dropped to 10-3 on the year, but are 2-0 in the Big Ten as conference play resumes on Thursday with a visit from Minnesota.