Five Takeaways From Wisconsin’s 69-64 Win Over Rutgers

Five Takeaways From Wisconsin’s 69-64 Win Over Rutgers

Basketball

Five Takeaways From Wisconsin’s 69-64 Win Over Rutgers

1, Stagnant Offense

After a solid week that saw Wisconsin beat an undefeated NC State and go on the road to beat No.14 Iowa, the Badgers came out sloppy on Monday night against Rutgers. Wisconsin trailed by five at the end of the first half in large part because they were 1-for-6 from 3-point range and lacked ball movement, registering zero assists on 12 made field goals. The offense lacked energy, a number of shot attempts were flat and UW went only 1-for-3 from the free throw line in the first 20 minutes.

2, Second Half Energy

Thankfully, after a slow first half, Wisconsin came out with a spark to begin the second half. Khalil Iverson got a quick bucket out of the gates, got a steal on the defensive side of the ball that led to a fast-break layup on the next offensive possession and sparked some energy inside the Kohl Center. The Badgers controlled the majority of the second half after they regained the lead with just over 18 minutes left off a Nate Reuvers 3-pointer.

3, Efficient Closing Half

After having no assists on five turnovers in the first half, Wisconsin cleaned things up in the second half. UW committed only one turnover in the 32 second-half possessions, helping them shoot 58.6 percent in the second half and dishing out seven assists. Not only were the Badgers better with the ball, but they also ratcheted up the defensive effort. Geo Baker – the Scarlet Knights second-leading scorer – had nine points on 4-7 shooting in the opening 20 minutes. In the second half, the Badgers locked him up with only six points on 2-9 shooting. The Rutgers didn’t go away quietly, but a Big Ten win is always big no matter what.

4, Team Effort

While Ethan Happ poured in a game-high 20 points, Nate Reuvers and D’Mitrik Trice also helped out with critical baskets. Reuvers scored five of his 10 points in the first seven minutes while Trice continued showing the ice water in his veins with the dagger 3-pointer with under a minute left, effectively putting the game out of the Scarlet Knights’ reach. Happ had a season-low in the rebound department with five boards but the rest of the team helped pick up the slack with an additional 22. While Khalil Iverson may not have an eye-popping stat line, his effort defensively in the second half was a big factor, as well as those four quick points out of the locker room.

5, I-94 Rivalry Up Next

With two quality wins in four days, Wisconsin will get the day off Tuesday and begin preparations for its rivalry game against Marquette in Milwaukee Saturday. It’s yet another early test for a Wisconsin team that has jumped out to an impressive early season start facing a Golden Eagles squad that has yet to lose in their new home at Fiserv Forum.

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