MADISON, Wis. – Well, it wasn’t a 26-turnover game. But it wasn’t a 90-pointer, either.
No. 14 Wisconsin’s win over Green Bay was prettier to watch than the last time the two met, but not the dominating offensive performance the Badgers (10-2) have put on display in their past five wins.
A win’s a win though, and the 73-59 victory over the Phoenix (4-6) extends Wisconsin’s streak to six games as the non-conference schedule nears its end.
The win follows Saturday’s 93-84 win against Marquette.
Green Bay couldn’t make up its mind. Sometimes, the Phoenix pushed the ball up the court faster than the cameras could move. Next time, they slowed it way down into a disorganized half-court set. There were possessions of only dribbling and some when the ball never touched the court. But in a flurry of different game plans, Wisconsin’s defense stayed its lock-down consistent self.
The change of pace didn’t bother the Badgers as they held Green Bay to just 40.4 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers.
WHAT IT MEANS:
Green Bay continues to hold a special place in coach Greg Gard’s heart. His first-ever win as head coach was against the Phoenix last season, and almost exactly one year later, he got ‘em again.
Happy one-year anniversary, coach.
Ethan Happ was fluid around the rim to the tune of a double-double on 14 points and 10 boards. And while his second-to-none fundamental footwork is always fun to watch, his court vision stood out. He had six of Wisconsin’s 18 assists, including a coast-to-coast delivery to Nigel Hayes.
And who knew he had a jumper? For the first time in his college career, he attempted and made a shot from outside the paint. His form is a good indication of why it was his first, but hey, it’s the thought—and points—that count.
Probably not accurate on my part to call it a jump shot. Either way, it’s the first hit outside the paint for Happ. pic.twitter.com/WH8C2yxFTZ
— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) December 15, 2016
There are off nights, and then there are virtual no-shows. Bronson Koenig had the latter against Green Bay. The senior notched just six points on 1-9 shooting, his worst performance of the season so far.
Some were shots that, no question, he should have made—or at least has in the past. Others, though, were the best he could do in a bad situation. The Phoenix did a heck of a job shading him out of the Badgers’ perimeter offense, so he drove-and-sometimes-dished instead. He finished the night with four assists.
WHO WAS THERE:
Some really, truly, god-awful ugly Christmas sweaters. That was the theme for the Grateful Red tonight, and boy, did they deliver.
Members of the Wisconsin football team showed up as well, and were recognized at halftime for various accomplishments and All-Big Ten honors they earned this season. The football team is 10-3 heading into the Cotton Bowl against Western Michigan. The Badgers played in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Badgers round out their non-conference schedule with Florida A&M on Friday, Dec. 23 at the Kohl Center. Tipoff is at 9 p.m. ET, and the Big Ten Network will broadcast the game.