MADISON, WI - DECEMBER 29: Vitto Brown #30 of the Wisconsin Badgers and Caleb Swanigan #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers scramble for a loose ball at Kohl Center on December 29, 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Wisconsin Badgers continue downtown party in win over Nebraska

Vitto Brown poured in a career high 19 points, while the Badgers (15-9, 7-4 B1G) went crazy from beyond the arc en route to an emphatic 72-61 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-12, 5-7 B1G).

Brown’s big night started right away, as the big man hit a triple to open up all scoring on the night and it was just a sign of things to come for the team. The Badgers ended the night hitting 11 of 18 three-point attempts and Brown was a key part of it, going 3 of 3 from beyond the arc.

He didn’t have to do it alone though, as Nigel Hayes led all scorers with 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the field.

Wisconsin also got 12 points out of point guard Bronson Koenig and 10 from guard Zak Showalter, as the Badgers overcame early adversity to throttle the Huskers zone defense.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before — Wisconsin goes on a big scoring drought only to catch fire and maintain control of an opponent. That was the case for the Badgers in the first half of Wednesday’s contest against Nebraska, as the Badgers went over five minutes without a field goal and saw the visitors take their biggest lead of the game at 13-7.

Wisconsin’s 5:35 scoring drought was cut off by Vitto Brown, who hit a jumper with 9:54 remaining in the half.

It was just the catalyst the Badgers needed though, as Wisconsin would go on a 17-3 run that saw them take over the lead at 24-18 with 4:42 left in the half.

Brown would wind up with a career high in points in a Big Ten game by the half, pouring in 12 of UW’s 30 points. He teamed up with fellow junior forward Nigel Hayes to propel Wisconsin for the most part, as Hayes added 10 points.

Wisconsin also continued to shoot hot from beyond the arc against Nebraska’s zone defense, going 4 of 6 in the first half alone.

All of it added up to a crazy first half and the Badgers coming out the other end with a 30-26 lead at the half.

The cavalcade of triples continued for Wisconsin in the second half. UW opened up the half with back-to-back three pointers, and Koenig continued his suddenly hot shooting from deep by going 3 of 4 on the night.

What was a small 4-point lead at the half quickly turned in to a double-digit one and the Badgers never really looked back in rocking the Huskers to the end.

Eventually Wisconsin’s lead was extended to 17 points with 5 minutes left to play and the game was pretty much over after that thanks to UW’s ability to hit free throws and break presses.

It resulted in the Badgers’ sixth straight victory in Big Ten play and moved it a step closer to the NCAA tournament.

Wisconsin will have to step up in competition if it wants a seven-game win streak, as it will take on No. 2 Maryland in College Park, Md. this Saturday. Tip is scheduled for 5:30p.m. CT on ESPN.

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10.com

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