After dropping two straight games, the Badgers needed this win against the conference’s last-place team. They responded with a solid team victory for their 11th straight win over Penn State.
While Happ scored the most points, it was refreshing to see other players step up offensively to carry some of the burdens. In particular, head coach Greg Gard has to be pleased with the production he received from his bench, which chipped in 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Considering Wisconsin’s bench only scored a combined 14 points over the last two games, the production was the shot in the arm allowing Wisconsin to take control.
In particular, Charles Thomas was able to provide strong minutes to finish the game with seven points (3-for-4 shooting), one assist and one rebound in 10 minutes. Overall, Brevin Pritzl and Kobe King led the bench in minutes played with 17 and 16, respectively, as Pritzl hit a pair of 3-pointers and King scored four points.
Led by Davison three 3-pointers, Wisconsin finished the game 8-for-16 from the perimeter with five different Badgers hitting at least one three.
Game MVP: Ethan Happ. After shooting 5-for-15 over the first 20 minutes, Happ found success around the basket in the second half, going 5-for-9 and scoring 12 of his 22 points in the second half. In particular, Happ was key to start the second half, responsible for three of Wisconsin’s six field goals and hit two free throws as UW started the second half on a 16-2 run. When Penn State double-teamed Happ in the lane, he was able to consistently locate the open man and the Badgers saw those players his shots. Happ finished with a game-high eight rebounds, four assists, one block and one turnover.