Badgers upended 60-54 in Bennett’s return to Wisconsin

Tony Bennett, the pupil, beat Bo Ryan, the teacher in the two areas that mattered most – defense and rebounding, as the visiting Virginia Cavaliers took down Wisconsin 60-54 at the Kohl Center on Wednesday night. This was Wisconsin's 1st home loss in the month of November since a loss to Marquette back in 1997.

Not only did the Cavaliers play excellent defense when it mattered late in the game, they also had an amazing performance from Joe Harris who led all scorers in the game with 22 points and crushed the Badgers on the boards to the tune of 36-25 to earn the victory.

Harris' 22 points overshadowed a great performance from Akil Mitchell who had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Wahoos.

In what's becoming an alarming trend for the 2012-13 Badgers basketball team they found themselves in a hole from the beginning of the game, this time the found themselves in a 4-0 hole to star the action.

Just like against Creighton and Floriday the Badgers couldn't climb completely back as they only took one lead in the 1st half at 11-10 and only led twice in the 2nd half as well. That 1st half lead lasted all of 60 seconds though as UVa hit a quick basket to put them back in the lead. The Wahoo's would stretch it to as many as 7 points at 18-11 with 6:43 left to play in the half.

On the plus side of things the Badgers would end the half on a 12-6 run and would only be down by one point, 24-23, as the halftime buzzer sounded in the Kohl Center. Virginia was able to hang on to the halftime lead because they outrebounded Wisconsin 18-11 for the half despite turning the ball over 6 times to the Badgers 2.

Joe Harris went absolutely unconscious for the Cavaliers as he led all scores in the half with 13 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the field. Ryan Evans led the Badgers with just 6 points at the half.

The 2nd half was all about runs and Wisconsin had a 6-0 run to go up five at 36-31, however the Cavaliers went on a 12-2 run after that to take a huge 43-38 lead with left in the game. The lead was stretched to 46-40 for the Cavaliers after that. 

With 5:39 remaining in the game the Badgers finally managed to get to the line for the 1st time in the GAME as Sam Dekker was fouled on a baseline drive. Dekker hit both to make it 50-45 UVa.

The Badgers wouldn't go down without a fight late in this one though as they got it down to within three at 57-54 under one minute remaining, however inexperience and some great Wahoo defense led to a bad sequence that forced 20 seconds off the clock and forced Ben Brust to attempt a wild three hoping for a foul call as well, one that didn't come his way. 

That was all she wrote for the Badgers chances as the game was finished at that point, down by 6 with less than ten seconds remaining.

Badgers Player Grades:

Ben Brust: (C +) – Brust was the Badgers leading scorer w/ 15 points, but he was just 3 of 9 from deep and he made one heck of a bad mistake late in the game that cost the Badgers a chance at the comeback.

Traevon Jackson: (C-) – Jackson dished out 5 assists on the night but he was just 2-7 shooting and he seemed to lack some energy to start the game and was quickly subbed out for Marshall.

Ryan Evans: (F) – Evans had 8 points and did grab a team high 6 rebounds on the night, but his shooting and shot selection were down right awful. Evans was 4-12 from the field and 0-2 from deep. His effort on the defensive end of the floor wasn't that great either.

Mike Bruesewitz: (D) – Bruiser had his usual solid 6 points on the offensive end of the floor, but he wasn't as effective as he usually was defensively and he missed a few big rebounding opportunities that could've made a big difference in the game.

Jared Berggren: (B) – Berggren was the only other player not named Brust that did much for the Badgers in this one. He had 12 points on 4-8 shooting and was 2-3 from deep. The problem was he didn't see the ball enough in my opinion and he couldn't get on the glass enough as well, grabbing only 2 rebounds. But overall he was a good spark for this team when they really needed something.

George Marshall: (C) – Marshall came off the bench at the point guard position for the first time and only saw 11 minutes of action, but he did show he can continue to hit from deep, hitting his lone 3pt attempt. However, his defensive effort lacked a bit when he was on the court. If he can pick that part of his game up he'll see much more playing time as the offense speeds up & is more energetic when he's got the ball in his hands.

Sam Dekker: (C) – His 21 minutes were the most uneventful of his short career so far. Credit part of that to the Wahoos, but also to the fact that his teammates didn't swing the ball to him in positions to make plays often on the offensive end of the court. His defensive effort picked up a bit, but he needs to find a way to become more effective on the glass to really change games for the Badgers when he's not getting shots.

Frank Kaminsky: (incomplete): Kaminsky only saw the court for all of 3 minutes in the game so it's not like we could really give him a grade at all.

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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 He's also a featured columnist covering college football for Bleacher Report.