Wisconsin’s defense made it too easy for Rutgers to generate high-quality shots in the first half, as 12 of Rutgers’ first 16 points came in the paint. With Rutgers scoring 16 of its 31 points in the paint over the first half, the Scarlet Knights shot 53.8 percent.
But Wisconsin’s defense did a better job of taking the paint away in the second half as Rutgers finished the game with 34 points in the paint and held Rutgers to only 13 made field goals on 32 attempts. Overall Rutgers shot 27-for-58 (46.6 percent) from the field and led in scoring by Eugene Omoruyi (17 points, 7-for-14), Geo Baker (15 points on 17 attempts) and Peter Kiss (12 points).
With Rutgers entering the game averaging 13.1 offensive rebounds per game, the Badgers did a solid job limiting them to six offensive rebounds (one in the first half) and seven second-chance points.
Wisconsin’s defense wasn’t able to force the Scarlet Knights into a high number of turnovers, managing only eight against a team that had trouble holding on to the ball. UW registered eight points off the mistakes and delivered four steals.
In order for Wisconsin to build off of the strong finish to the first half, the Badgers defense was going to have to create the necessary stops early in the second half to make sure they weren’t trading baskets. After allowing Rutgers to hit two of three field goal attempts to begin the second half, Wisconsin forced Rutgers to miss its next four shots to allow Wisconsin to take the lead for good.