UW opens B1G play hosting Legend Division Rutgers (RU).
UW’s first 3 possessions were Turnover, Turnover, elective contested jumper missed by Koenig. RU didn’t fare any better and UW was still able to race to an 8-0 lead as RU never got out of the blocks. Showalter got UW off the mark with quick hands steal and beautiful feed to Happ running the floor for an easy flush.
Happ’s athletic ability gets him some easy looks like that in the rare UW transition. Showalter finished the next steal himself and Hayes with 2 strong moves through traffic paced UW early. Showalter splashed a 3 off sharp ball movement got UW the 13-2 advantage about 7′ into the game. UW with 5 early turnovers and RU the more active side on the glass have kept a lid on things for the Scarlet Knights early in Madison. Happ hit a pair of FT which might be the first and only time I get to write that all season. Good for him. UW still holding a 15-6 lead halfway through the 1st. Hayes with a pretty drop step and finish with the off hand and he has 8 of UW’s 17 (and he is currently outscoring RU). Iverson steals an offensive rebound and Happ draws the contact on a drive down the lane. That FT did get justenough on it to graze the rim. Next one clangs of the back iron. hmmmmm. But Happ puts back an Iverson miss as RU overcommits and RU needs a timeout down 19-6 with 8:34′ first half. Good timeout to take with the under 8 upcoming. Iverson with a tremendous block but it was goaltending. He can jump. That much is clear. This block however was legit.
Koenig with 0 pts and UW up 11 is probably a good sign. RU has just 3 made FG 13+’ into the game. Happ 2-5 from the FT line including missing the front end of a 1-and-1. RU been able to force a couple empty possessions forcing UW To run the shot clock to zero before hoisting a prayer. Those don’t count as turnovers in the box score but might as well be. A 7-0 run has gotten RU within 6 with less than 6′ in the first half. Koenig off the mark with a 3. Mike Williams answers back with a 3 as RU keeping in contact.
Wisconsin 24 Rutgers 16 3:57′ 1st half
Hayes hits a pair of FT out of the Under4 and Showalter with same careful footwork to trick the referee into giving him the offensive foul. UW just 6-11 from the FT line . This time Trice baits the referee into calling a charge when it probably should have been a no call at best. Kohl Center whistles? On the other end RU needs a different dude on Hayes as he bulls his way across the lane and gets to the line. RU has grabbed 8 offensive rebounds but turned it over 12 times so not helping themself. Savvy ball fake from Trice gets him open for a midrange and UW lead swells to 12.
The scouting report was correct on leaving the RU big open for a 3. That looked like a Happ FT. Showalter with a 3 off a nice kick from Hayes and UW picks a good time to get its biggest lead (15). RU misses a pair of FT and ugly indecisive possession to end the half.
HALFTIME Wisconsin 33 Rutgers 18
ESPN says this is the fewest points in a half for RU all season.
|Field Goal %||24.0||42.3|
|Three Point %||28.6||33.3|
|Free Throw %||57.1||61.5|
Happ with 2 early makes inside and Koenig with a 3 to keep UW very firmly on the front foot. Brown with a triple around a couple RU makes as the visitors can’t trim the UW lead.
RU with a 9-2 run starting about 14′ left in the game gets them within 14. But they may have left themselves with too much work to do. Iverson been watching Hayes, and a nice drive to the basket and short jumper falls. But RU won’t go away. But a couple RU triples and other work inside shrink the Badger lead to 9 with 7:51′ left 2nd half.
Showalter makes 2/3 FT after getting fouled on a 3. He then soars in for a layup
but RU follows with an offensive putback for 2 as Happ gets pushed around on the boards. Something short of intensity there for UW. The margin is +11 for UW here with 6:26 left. Mystery touch foul on RU and Hayes drains both FT as he moves to 6-6 from FT for the game. UW lead to 13. Wild possession for RU ends with their guard? down in pain. hopefully just a cramp but he isn’t putting any weight on his left leg. Did roll his ankle on the replay. They need a better rule about quickly stopping play even if it’s not a head injury. UW had a 5-on-4 but RU with a foul, probably not the worst foul to take just the wrong guy. Should have fouled Happ as Showalter hits a pair. UW lead to 15. UW in the football equivalent of a 4′ offense to slow things down and shorten the game. Showalter clangs a heat check 3 but sharp cut and good feed gets him an easy 2 on the next possession.
RU pretty out of control now on both ends and the rally is no more. As the ESPN graphic notes, UW on a 12-2 run. Badgers close it out without any drama to move to 1-0 in B1G play.
FINAL Wisconsin 72 Rutgers 52
|Field Goal %||31.1||43.4|
|Three Point %||38.9||29.4|
|Free Throw %||63.6||75.0|