Wisconsin Holds on in a Ugly Win

Despite horrific shooting and an empty Kohl Center, the Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 50-45 and broke their two game home losing streak

The key for the Badgers was defense. They held Nebraska to only 45 points, their third lowest point total of the season. “They’re just an unbelieveable defensive team.” Said Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler of the Badgers.

Sadler made similar comments of the Wisconsin defense last time the teams met. Wisconsin made key stops down the stretch and frustrated the Nebraska offense. They did everything they needed to do to win the game.

Offense, on the other hand, wasn’t so pretty. The Badgers shot just 31.3% from the field and 11.1% (2-18) from three point range. Nebraska didn’t fair much better, shooting 35.2% and 26.3% from downtown. Leading scorers for the Badgers were Jordan Taylor with 19 and Josh Gasser with 12. Jared Berggren grabbed 13 rebounds in the game. I thought the Badgers would come in hot off the huge win at Purdue, and put up some big numbers. That just wasn’t the case in this game.

I said in the game preview that the point guard battle between Bo Spencer and Jordan Taylorbo_nebraska would be a huge key for the game.  That ended up being very true. Jordan Taylor finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds, sinking clutch free throws and grabbing the clinching board at the end of the game. Bo Spencer finished with 13 points and 3 steals, including 3 late triples to keep the Huskers in the game. Jordan Taylor once again won the position battle, leading the Badgers to their second victory over the Huskers.

I find it very interesting that Wisconsin beat Nebraska by 24 on the road and only by 5 at home. For whatever reason, the Badgers haven’t had great outings in the Kohl Center recently. We’ll see how that plays out the rest of the season. Wisconsin has some must win home games coming up including Indiana and Ohio State coming to the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin now has an interesting case for the newest top 25 polls coming out this Monday. Last week they dropped out of them for the first time this season, though they received the most votes for teams not ranked in both polls. They have gone 2-0 since then including a huge road win over Purdue. I do believe Wisconsin will jump back into the top 25 somewhere around 23.

It was an ugly win for the Badgers, but in this Big Ten season, a win is a win. Nebraska falls to 9-8 overall and 1-5 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin improves to 14-5 overall, and 3-3 in the Big Ten. They’re not out of the Big Ten title race just yet, but they’ll need to stay consistent and win some big games to have a shot at it. The Badgers are back at the Kohl Center Wednesday night when they take on Northwestern (12-5, 2-3 Big Ten).