Photo by: Beck Diefenbach (AP)

Beyond the Box Score: Wisconsin 68, California 56

I’ll be honest. I was a little worried about the game last night. Cal has an underrated team and would definitely want to prove that by knocking off the sixth ranked team in the country. Add into the mix it’s a west coast game with a late start after a weeklong layoff and the recipe for upset was brewing.

And I was wrong.

The Badgers took control early, and held off a couple small Golden Bear runs to notch a nice, double digit road victory.

Let’s jump into the box score.

  • The Badgers countered an 8-0 California run early in the first half with a 15-4 run to finish the half. This was huge as it appeared California was going to make it a game. The Golden Bears were contesting every shot early and just weren’t getting their shots to fall themselves. Once they started hitting shots, it seemed as though it was a completely different game. The Badger counter run put some distance between the two teams and took the crowd out. What’s also nice to see during that run is that the scoring was completely spread out. Five Badgers scored on the run and that’s the type of run that frustrates a team more than if a single player just gets hot. When it’s one guy, you figure eventually he will go cold. When it’s a team’s system that is beating you, it’s often times hopeless.
  • Both Nigel Hayes and Sam Dekker had solid nights. This is good to see as both have had short rough patches in the last couple weeks. Hayes seemed to deal with getting into foul trouble, which he was able to stay out of last night. He plays an aggressive game, which he is forced to rein back when he is in foul trouble. As for Dekker, it’s starting to look more and more like his ankle was bothering him more than he was letting on. Yes, it’s a narrative that has been beaten to death, but I think it’s officially behind him now (although I did get slightly nervous when he was seemed to slip on something early in the game). He seems quicker and more confident in his moves, which means trouble for the rest of the Big Ten.

 

Jay Swenson

About Jay Swenson

Jay is a Badger fan currently living in Central Illinois. He has written for several newspapers as a freelance writer, and was the Western Illinois basketball beat writer while in graduate school.

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