MADISON – The Wisconsin Badgers won their second consecutive game on Saturday evening, defeating UW-Green Bay 81-60 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score.
Sixteen last shots for the 16 made free throws by Wisconsin on Saturday evening.
1. UW-Green Bay (5-8) was overmatched in this game. There is no other way of putting it. There were spurts in which they were able to look competitive, but their talent level was nowhere near that of Wisconsin (6-7).
2. Things could not have started out better for the Badgers. They opened up the game hitting their first 10 shots from the floor. That streak lasted the first 8:20 of the game for Wisconsin. The first miss came when a 3-pointer from Walt McGrory rimmed out.
3. The way UW-Green Bay was able to look competitive was with their pace. Coming in Wisconsin knew that the speed at which the Phoenix play was going to be an adjustment for them, and at times it was. More often than not the Phoenix are either shooting or ready to shoot half way through the shot clock. The ball is also typically past midcourt while there is still 27 or 28 seconds remaining on the shot clock.
4. The Phoenix actually were able to cut Wisconsin’s lead to 10 points at 29-19 with 7:17 left in the first half. The Badgers then exploded on a 13-0 run over the next 3:42 to push the score to 42-19. Wisconsin then went into the half with a 42-22 lead.
5. Brad Davison has now drawn 14 charges on the season. He took a pair against UW-Green Bay on Saturday. There were a few instances where he attempted to draw his third, but he was called for a pair of blocks instead.
6. He was the game’s high scorer with 18 points on the evening. Davison was 7-of-14 from the field, although he did struggle from behind the arc. He was 1-of-7 on 3-pointers. As a team, the Badgers finished 5-of-19 from deep.
7. Forward Ethan Happ continued to string together strong performances. He may not get as much credit nationally this year because of Wisconsin’s record, but he’s been consistent. Happ finished the night with 14 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. He was 7-of-9 from the floor against the Phoenix. Happ was only on the floor for 22 minutes, due to the fact that the game was a blowout. On the season, Happ is averaging 16.2 points per game, as well as 8.2 rebounds. He, along with Khalil Iverson, are the only two players to start all 13 games for Wisconsin this season.
8. This was the first game action for Wisconsin since the win over Western Kentucky on December 13. The 10-day lay-off was welcomed by the Badgers. It finally gave them an opportunity to focus on themselves rather than constantly be preparing for an opponent.
9. “We haven’t had a whole lot of time to practice,” Davison said. “We’ve had a tough schedule with games back-to-back. So, we had a lot of time to just hone in on all of our weaknesses and building our strengths. We spent a lot of time, whether it was individual skill work, or team defense, or just running through our offense, just trying to get everyone on the same page. It worked really well for us today. That’s our goal, just keep getting better every game, every practice, the results will take care of itself.”
10. The lay-off may have also given Davison’s shoulder a little bit of time to heal. He’s been dealing with that injury for a couple of weeks now. Davison does wear a brace while on the court that extends down nearly to his elbow on his left arm.
11. “A little bit, they might suggest it,” said Davison on if the coaching staff needs to remind him to be smart with his shoulder. “But, another thing is I don’t want to be thinking about it. When I go out there I just kind of forget about it, get it out of my mind. I just go out there and play the game that I love to play and the way I love to play it. I just try to forget about it and [the coaching staff] are all for that too.”
12. With Davison on the floor as often as he is, whether it be diving for loose balls or taking charges, there have to be moments where coach Gard and his staff collectively hold their breath.
13. “I feel it, I feel it throughout the game. There’s always different plays either where you land on [his shoulder] or it gets pulled. The brace is there to help support it, so I try not to think about it. I have no problem playing through the pain so I just love to be out there. I have two teammates who can’t play, so I’m just thankful for the opportunity to play.”
14. Davison is obviously speaking of guards Kobe King and D’Mitrik Trice who are both currently sidelined with injuries and haven’t played since Wisconsin’s loss to Temple on December 6.
15. Both King and Trice were in attendance in sweats Saturday. Each of them had surgery on December 11. King has been ruled out for the season with an injury to his left knee. Trice had an operation on his right foot and was slated to begin his rehabilitation process 2-3 weeks following surgery, per UW. If he is on schedule, his process would be starting as soon as Christmas Day. Trice was not wearing a walking boot or on crutches. The two were out on the court during halftime warm ups. King was interacting with teammates and Trice was chatting with one of the officials.
16. Wisconsin will be in action next on Wednesday for their second-to-last nonconference game of the season. They host Chicago State at 8pm. Chicago State is currently 2-13 and neither of their wins have come against an NCAA opponent.