The Golden Eagles' pressure defense caused a lot of trouble all game long and it was too much for Wisconsin to overcome as Marquette upended the Badgers, 60-50, winning the I-94 rivalry for a second straight year. Perhaps Marquette exposed the Badgers' biggest weakness more than any other team has all season long.
They made it look like Wisconsin may have no true point guard at the moment. George Marshall is showing that he's a freshman, Traveon Jackson is way too turnover prone (3 in the 1st half alone in this one) and Ben Brust, well he can make a dumb decision or three a game and that cost Bucky early at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
It showed as Marquette forced 10 turnovers in the first half alone, on the way to causing 14 turnovers and scoring 14 points off those turnovers for the night.The first half was about as ugly as it's been this year for the Badgers as they got off to another slow start, digging themselves a 7-0 hole that only balloned as the half went on and ultimately it was too much for the Badgers to overcome.
Marquette used the hot shooting and toughness of Vander Blue (17 points) and Devante Gardner (10 points, 8 rebounds) respectively to continue to poor it on the Badgers no matter how close the got. Blue had 15 points on 6-8 shooting in the 1st half and Gardner had 6 points (3-5 shooting) and 3 rebounds in the half as well. Those two nearly scored as many points as the Badgers team as the buzzer sounded to end the 1st half.
Wisconsin once again couldn't hit the broad side of the barn from deep, going 1-9 (11.1%) from beyond the arc and shooting just 34.8% from the field in the half. Meanwhile Marquette shot 55.6% from the field and 3-6 (50%) from beyond the arc. They also owned the Badgers on the glass in the half, outrebounding Wisconsin 19-15.
Perhaps the lone bright spot was Sam Dekker, who was starting for the first time in his young career and had 5 points and 5 rebounds. However, even he was far from perfect as he continues to struggle from the line, shooting 1-3 from the charity stripe in the 1st half.
Things looked like they would swing completely in the Badgers favor as the 2nd half started, but despite a 5-0 run to start things off and get Wisconsin back into the game the Golden Eagles found an answer in the name of Junior Cadougan who had 14 of his game high 18 points in the 2nd frame.
Wisconsin couldn't take advantage of the fact that Marquette was in major foul trouble for most of the 2nd half of the game either, shooting just 9-23 from the line. What was worse is there were about 5 or 6 misses on the front end of 1 and 1's that could've made a huge difference in the flow of the later part of the 2nd half.
Instead of panicing when Wisconsin came back to within three points Marquette upped the anty on both ends of the floor and the Badgers couldn't hold up to the pressure.
For the game the Badgers shot 17-52 (32.7%) from the field while the Golden Eagles shot a very respectable 25-52 (48.1%).
Ben Brust: (B -) - Brust was less than efficient, shooting just 3-13 from the field and 2-9 from 3pt range, but he was one of the only players that showed up in any way in all phases of the game - scoring 8 points, pulling down 5 rebounds, and dishing out a team best 6 assists.
Ryan Evans: (D +) - It's hard to think you'd fail the guy that lead the team in scoring, but despite Evans having a team best 9 points he was down right awful on the offensive end. He was 4-10 shooting from the field and an even worse 1-9 from the free throw line. That's downright ugly and deserving of a nearly failing grade for a player that came up big for the Badgers last season and is now so inconsistent you and I cringe anytime he shoots the ball.
Traevon Jackson: (F) - Jackson added only 3 points to this game and did have 4 assists. Those 4 assists aren't terrible at all and would've saved him from a failing grade, but he also had 4 turnovers and just couldn't do anything good offensively for this team and they needed Marshall or him to step up big andhe just didn't.
Sam Dekker: (C +) - Dekker started off well and was initally the only Badgers player palying with any sort of spirit, but that tappered off and he was just 2-10 on the night from the field and had 3 turnovers. He did play some decent defense (8 rebounds) and that's a good thing to see as he'll put it together on both ends of the floor sooner than later, but Wisconsin needed him to shoot better than 20% from the field.
Jared Berggren: (C) - Berggren was tied for the team lead with 9 points in the loss and had 7 rebounds, however he also was in foul trouble and was often outmuscled and outhustled by Marquette's Devante Gardner. It wasn't his worst game ever and it wasn't his best game by far, so a C seems just about right.
Zak Showalter: (C +) - He played just 10 minutes in the game, but he did bring some engergy when the Badgers needed it in the 1st half. He only had 2 points, but also had 2 rebounds.
Frank Kaminsky: (B -) - This would have been an A as he was very efficient on the offense end, scoring 7 points in just 9 minutes of action. However he also picked up 4 fouls and only had one rebound on the defensive end. He gave the Badgers a glimmer of hope in the 2nd half before getting into that foul trouble and hit a CLUTCH 3 pointer.
George Marshall: (C -) - Again he came off the bench to play some good ball on the offensive end in 10 minutes of action but his defensive lapse on a huge inbounds play that led to a hoop and harm late in the game is just too much to overcome. He'll get better and is getting better, but this wasn't one of his better overall games.
Zach Bohannon: INCOMPLETE as he only saw 4 minutes of playing time in the game.
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@HawkeyeNation @MTBadgers they turned the ball over less than Marquette 15-13. they shot 16% worse (32% from the field), that was the key