Hoopcap: Badgers Come Alive In Second Half
Wisconsin was in a rut. No other way to put it. Badgers trailed by six at halftime and stared down the possibility of losing three straight as well as losing the Big Ten conference led. Then as we’ve seen at different points of the season, Wisconsin had a masterful second half flipping the entire script on Maryland for a 71-60 victory. In the second half, Badgers outscored Terrapins 44-27 and seemed to get their groove back as a team.
Nigel Hayes backed up his words
After the loss to Michigan, Nigel Hayes said he needed to be more assertive with the basketball, and he did just that. Hayes finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds earning most of his scoring from the free throw line. Maryland had a tough time with Hayes who did a great job getting into the lane and playing advantage to a tight whistle.
Brevin Pritzl is a bulldog
Hate to use the white guy superlatives, but Brevin Priztl is a grinder. People are going to love him at Wisconsin. The 6’3 freshman pulled down five offensive rebounds to go along with seven points. This doesn’t seem like a one-time thing either. He does a great job with crashing the glass. If Pritzl can get his shot working down the stretch, he might be the difference in Badgers making a long run in the tourney. Who knows why Greg Gard sat him on Thursday night, but he deserved to be out there as he showed Sunday afternoon.
Free throws continue to be an issue for this team
If there’s one thing that could hurt Wisconsin come tournament time, it’s free throws. Badgers were a woeful 21-37 from the line. First, it’s great they got to the free-throw line 37 times. That’s a very tight officiated game, but still, Wisconsin deserves credit for attacking the paint as their shots weren’t falling from deep. They need to be better and it starts with Hayes and Ethan Happ who missed a combined 10 throws.
Koenig comes back off the bench.
Bronson Koenig’s stint on the disabled list was a short one as he played in this one coming off the bench. Koenig only scored nine points as he missed seven of his 11 shot attempts including four from deep. Unless he suffered a setback, he’ll be back in the starting lineup when Wisconsin heads to Columbus on Thursday night.
Players of the Game: Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin), Melo Trimble (Maryland)
Next Up: Wisconsin does the Thursday-Sunday thing again with a trip to Ohio State. Badgers creamed Buckeyes earlier this season, and they look to do the same on the road. This isn’t one where Wisconsin can trip up.