Badgers bring the D in a 60-51 victory over Penn State

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If you ever need proof that defense wins basketball games, just watch tonight's game between the Badgers and Nittany Lions. Credit a game Penn State team, who made things very, VERY interesting until the Badgers clamped back down in the final three minutes. However, in the Big Ten a W is a W, is a W. Wisconsin took care of their offensive business when it mattered most as well in the 60-51 victory, to extend the home winning streak to 17 straight and 15 in a row at the Kohl Center over the Nittany Lions. Wisconsin improves to 10-4 overall and 1-0 in conference play while Penn State goes to 8-5, 0-1 on the season.

Oh… and then there was this for good measure: 

So, let's get right into the grades and breakdown, shall we?

 

Player Stats/Thoughts Grade
Ben Brust, G
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13pts, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 5-14FG's, 36min

It wasn't the best of games for Brust despite tying for the team lead in points scored as he hit only 2-8 from deep and Wisconsin really could've used the extra points to say the least. He did lead the team in assists in this one, so it wasn't completely a lost game for Brust, but we've seen better.

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Mike Bruesewitz, F
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12pts, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 5-6FT's, 25min

Bruesewitz just does what he does every single time out on the court and it's safe to say he's all the way back from that concussion, huh? He was huge in salting the game away with made free throw's down the final 90 seconds. This was an impressive game for the senior big man on both ends of the court.

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Ryan Evans, F
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13pts, 9 rebounds, 6-15FG's, 1-6FT's, 38min

Yes, he tied for the team lead in points, but you better when you're taking 15 shots. I give Evans credit for not being afraid to take shots, but damn was it ugly for him at times as baskets weren't coming easy. The case of the bad FT shooting came back again and luckily it didn't come back to bite the Badgers too much down the stretch.

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Traevon Jackson, G
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2pts, 1 rebound, 3 steals, 21min

Jackson's minutes were more productive by a mile on the defensive end as he was exposed as a poor shooter offensively at times and Evans' missed FT epidemic apparently spread to Jackson as well. This wasn't a great all-around game, but you can't be completely mad as his defense was needed big time.

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Jared Berggren, F
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13pts, 3 rebounds, 5-7FG's, 3 blocks, 2 steals, 31min

If there was a better play in the B1G in a bigger moment so far this season than Berggren's massive poster dunk over some poor PSU sap I'd like to see it. For me this was one of Berggren's best all-around efforts of the season so far & it shows by his 5-7 FG shooting.

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George Marshall, G
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2pts, 2 assists, 2 TO's, 23min

Marshall played some good minutes and the offense flowed well with him at the point, particularly playing at a higher tempo, but critical mistakes on defense and a few issues with turnovers made this game not at all one of his best in Marshall's young career. Better days will be had by him for sure. 

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Sam Dekker, F
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2pts, 1 rebound, 1-6FG's, 17min

Safe to say this was the worst game of Sam Dekker's youngest career as he just couldn't hit his open shots and was often times forcing shots he didn't need to take. Defensively he wasn't asked to do much because the play was going down at the guard spots. Again, better days will be ahead for him too.

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Frank Kaminsky, F
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3pts, 2 rebounds, 1 block, 1 assist, 9min

Kaminsky actually made a bit of an impression in limited minutes tonight and his block was one of 6 the Badgers got tonight. He only took 2 shots and both were good looks, Kaminsky was efficient and you can remember him being on the court. That's a good thing to say the least. 

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3 Takeaways:

- Have you ever seen a team Wisconsin plays only get ONE free throw attempt in the game? It came nearly 3/4 of the way through the contest as well and of course, as was the pattern of the game, it was missed. 

- This game was all about the defensive end of the court for Wisconsin. Just take a look at the offensive stats vs. the defensive stats if you don't believe me. PSU shot 46% to UW's 38.6% and the visitors made 2 more field goals on the night than Wisconsin. How do you loose if that's the case, right? Well, you lose by only shooting one free throw, but you also lose by turning the ball over 15 times and allow the opposition to score 17 points of of those turnovers. I highly recommend if you have the chance to keep this game you do so as a way to show friends or your kids what playing good defense can do to win you a basketball game. 

- It's really, REALLY, troublesome that the Badgers still aren't getting anything at all on a consistent basis from the combo of Jackson and Marshall at point guard. Is it too much to ask that they score more than just 10 points combined? Add in the fact that they both couldn't take care of the ball and made stupid mistakes and you've got a recipe for losing to every team in the Big Ten that has great guard play. 

- BONUS: I don't know about you, but I have a feeling this Penn State team is going to bite quite a few teams with the combo of D.J. Newbill (12pts, 8reb, 4 assists) and Jermaine Marshall (19pts, 9-14FG's). Those guys were damn impressive and nearly single handily beat the Badgers down the stretch.

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Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy has been covering college football for nearly half a decade and is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadgers.com. He's also a featured columnist covering college football for Bleacher Report.

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