The 9th ranked Wisconsin Badgers knew they were in for a test traveling to a hostile environment to face #22 Creighton. But it may have been tougher than anyone expected. Creighton won 79-67, although the game was actually closer than the score suggested. Wisconsin only trailed by two points with 7:28 left, but a 9-0 Bluejays run put them ahead for good.
Creighton’s backcourt dominated, with guards Mo Watson, Marcus Foster, and Khyri Thomas scoring 17, 15, and 18 respectively. Meanwhile for the Badgers, it was senior point guard Bronson Koenig leading the way with 21 points, although he was only 3-13 from beyond the arc with four turnovers sprinkled in. Nigel Hayes added 16, while Ethan Happ, Zak Showalter, and Vitto Brown had 7 apiece.
- Wisconsin settled for way too many outside shots tonight. Way, way too many. They attempted 35 three-point shots compared to just 5 free throws. That is not good. Teams that are too reliant on outside shooting are susceptible to upsets and inconsistency, and this was no different. The strength of this Wisconsin team is their post play, not launching three pointers. They are not the Golden State Warriors.
- Ethan Happ… Yikes. The redshirt sophomore had 7 points compared to 4 turnovers. Creighton brought a double-team whenever he touched the ball, and as a result, he was never able to get comfortable This will probably (hopefully) go down as one of his worst games of the season.
- Where was Nigel Hayes in the second half? He is a senior, a veteran, and the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year. Yet, he was a non-factor down the stretch. Big time players are supposed to step up in crunch time, not disappear. He is going to have to be much better for the Badgers.
- Wisconsin needs to work on attacking off double teams; otherwise Hayes and Happ will see a lot of them this season.
- Although he didn’t shoot well, Alex Illikainen looked a lot more confident and comfortable out on the court than he did all of last season. That will be huge for the Badgers.
- When Koenig came out, true freshman D’Mitrik Trice was thrown into the fire against a top team in a hostile environment. 14 seconds later, he drained a 3-pointer. Onions. He is going to be a special player for the Badgers.
- In the immortal words of Aaron Rodgers, R-E-L-A-X. Wisconsin wasn’t very good today. They settled for jump shots and were sloppy with the ball. But this was a true road game against a very talented top 25 team in just their second game of the season. The Badgers will be fine.