Badgers stifle UW-Milwaukee in 61-40 win

first_imgView Gallery (2 Photos)It wasn’t pretty, but the Badgers will take the win.In the first of a three-game series against intrastate teams that will span over the next five days, the Wisconsin Badgers (7-2) routed the UW-Milwaukee Panthers (4-6) 61-40 Wednesday night at the Kohl Center. Jon Leuer led all scorers with 20 points and contributed seven rebounds and three assists, while Jordan Taylor added 14 points, three rebounds and six assists. Keaton Nankivil also played a strong game for the Badgers, approaching a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Madison native also contributed three blocks and was a defensive presence all night.“When you scout the Badgers, the first two things you see are you have to contain Leuer, you’re not going to stop him,” Panthers coach Rob Jeter said. “You have to control Jordan Taylor, because it’s going to come down to some action with him off the bounce. And then, you have to do the best that you can and not allow anyone to clean up the mess, and that’s what the rebounding is. We look at that combination, and Keaton does a nice job of getting on the glass.”Yet, the story of the game remained the generally sloppy play by both teams. Milwaukee turned the ball over 15 times, which Wisconsin converted into 19 points. The Badgers, meanwhile, had 13 turnovers – very uncharacteristic for the traditionally careful team that was averaging 8.75 per game entering Wednesday night’s contest. However, Wisconsin’s saving grace proved to be their defense, as Milwaukee managed only six points off turnovers.“We want to try to limit those, obviously, but we made some mistakes in the first half,” Leuer said of UW’s turnovers. “There were a lot of travel calls both ways, so obviously the refs were trying to emphasize that. You just kind of have to adjust to that during the game. I think we started to do that as the game progressed. It was just something that we had to do.”Milwaukee jumped out to a quick start, going up 5-2 in the first minute of play with two long jumpers. After a free throw by Panther guard Kaylon Williams made the score 6-5 in favor of UW-M, Wisconsin went on a 13-0 run over the next six-and-a-half minutes. The Badgers were up 18-6, and the lead remained close to that until Wisconsin closed the half with a 16-5 run over the final 7:59 to make the halftime score 34-15.“It started inside,” UW head coach Bo Ryan said of the Badgers’ defense. “I just thought the energy on defense – because they’ve got some guys that can come off of screens pretty hard, that are pretty quick with the ball – so I liked the way our guys handled that.”Out of the break, Wisconsin continued to build its lead, going up 46-19 at the 15:08 mark after a 12-4 run to start the second half. Milwaukee brought the lead under 20 after forward Tony Meier sunk two free throws at 11:31 to bring the score to 48-29. However, the lead increased again, as the Badgers posted their biggest lead at the 6:32 mark, up 58-29.For the game, Milwaukee was led by guard Ja’Rob McCallum with 12 points and Meier with 10. Guard Tony Boyle – the Panthers’ biggest three-point shooting threat – was held to seven points on 1-6 shooting, including 1-3 from behind the arc. Milwaukee’s leading scorer, forward Anthony Hill, was limited to only three points and five rebounds.Nankivil and the Badgers’ frontcourt clearly frustrated Hill for the duration of the game, as the 6-7, 230 lb. big man was 0-8 from the field and only 3-6 from the free-throw line.“Hill’s going to hurt a lot of people, he already has because he’s good in there. He just had a rough night,” Ryan said.The night obviously turned out better for Wisconsin, as in addition to Leuer, Taylor and Nankivil’s performances, guard Josh Gasser contributed eight points and two assists. Forward Ryan Evans once again displayed his athleticism, pulling down five rebounds to go with three points and an assist.For the game, the Badgers shot 46.0 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from behind the arc and 83.3 percent from the line. The Panthers, meanwhile, fared much worse; Milwaukee only converted 30.8 percent of shots from the field, 42.9 percent from 3-point range and 61.9 of free throws.“It’s fun for us, to see the other in-state teams, it’s a big rivalry between us and I think all the teams in Wisconsin take pride in these games,” Leuer said. “There’s a little extra incentive and you want to have bragging rights. At the same time, you just have to approach it like every other game, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”last_img

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