Its debatable as to whether it was colder inside or outside the Kohl Center on Wednesday night, as the Badgers shot just 26.3 percent from the field on the way to losing 65-56 to Northwestern. The Badgers ((17-4, 4-4 B1G) have now lost four their last five games.
Oh, and in case you were wondering—Madison's high for the day was 20 degrees.
Not only did Wisconsin's cold shooting doom them, but so did a red-hot Northwestern guard by the name of Drew Crawford. The senior lit the Badgers up for 30 points on 10-15 field goal shooting.
Crawford had support from Tre Demps and JerShon Cobb, who had 10 points each.
Perhaps the only bright spot for Wisconsin was guard Ben Brust, who mustered 21 points on 7-18 shooting for the night. He also added five steals, four rebounds and two assists in the Badgers loss.
Wisconsin's field goal shooting was so bad, it was only topped by an effort in 1998, ironically, against Northwestern as well. It also go so bad that this happened:
There was no other way to describe the first half, but as U-G-L-Y, yet at least Wisconsin went in to the break with a 23-20 lead. It shot all of 26.1 percent (6-23) from the field and just 3-10 from three-point range. It wasn't as if Northwestern was killing it on the defensive end either, Wisconsin simply couldn't hit easy shots for the most part.
In fact, the Badgers failed to hit a single straight two-point basket in the first half. It was either a trey, a layup and foul or a pair of free throws for UW in the half. Wisconsin's biggest advantage came from the line, where it went 8-9 in the half.
Don't think it was just Wisconsin either, as it was feast or famine on both ends of the court. The two teams tied in rebounds at 16-16, but only one offensive board happened in the half, which belonged to the Badgers.
However close the first half was, someone was bound to get hot at some point—unfortunately, that wasn't Wisconsin.
The Badgers shot just a touch better in the second half, going 9-of-34 or 26.4 percent from the field. While it wasn't much better, it was looking way worse before a final three minute stretch that brought the game briefly wiithin reach for the Badgers.
UW cut Northwestern's lead down from 54-39 with 3:41 left to 62-56 inside the final minute of play.
As for grades...well, it was Ben Brust with one grade and everyone else with another. So....
Ben Brust, G
21pts, 4 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 assists, 7-18 FGs, 3-10 3pt FGs
Realistically there wasn't anyone that played an amazing game in terms of shooting numbers, but lets also recognize how brutal UW's output would've been without Brust. He was one of just two Badgers in double figures on the night and topped only by Crawfords effort. He could've had his own 30 point game had more of his wide open looks gone down. However, Brust also played well down the stretch on defense and five steals are nothing to overlook either.