Same Old Story At Home

Jon Leuer had another 20 points game in yet another blow out at the Kohl Center as Wisconsin controlled Wisconsin-Milwaukee 61-40 Wednesday night.

MADISON — Since Bo Ryan took over at Wisconsin, the Badgers have excelled to an almost unbelievable degree in the Kohl Center.

But this is getting ridiculous.

Through five games at home this season — and not counting the exhibition season — Wisconsin has defeated their opponents by an average of 29.8 points per game. They embarrassed an ACC team, N.C. State by a 39 point margin of victory. Not a single game has been close even at half time and the tightest margin of victory at the Kohl Center all year has been 15 points.

Wednesday was a repeat of what we have seen all season. The Badgers knocked off UW-Milwaukee 61-40, led at halftime by 19 points and saw all the human victory cigars at the end of the bench see playing time.

Of course, Bo Ryan doesn't see it quite that way.

"They don't care in the end what the stat sheet looks like, in the end they are just looking at one grouping of numbers — left hand side and right hand side," Ryan said. "As long as you have got guys doing that."

The ultimate hot and cold player, Keaton Nankivil played the perfect third fiddle to Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor Wednesday night.

Nankivil shot the ball well (5-for-6 for 10 points), rebounded best on the team with nine boards and had three blocks that got the loudest cheers all night, save Chancellor Biddy Martin's free throw performance during a timeout.

Assigned to guard the Panthers leading scorer Anthony Hill, Nankivil held Hill to three total points on 0-for-8 shooting.

"So much of what coach Ryan stresses in the post is doing your work early," Nankivil said. "Not letting him catch the ball. He fights hard in the post and it was hard not to let him catch it. He definitely did get some catches but when he did, we saw some stuff on film about how he moved once he got the ball so I was just trying to hold my ground as much as possible. And with any player, once you get off to a slower start, it is hard to come back from that during a game."

The Badgers (7-2) jumped out to a 18-6 lead during the first nine minutes of the game, with Josh Gasser chipping in six points and Nankivil knocking down a couple of jumpers.

Per usual, Leuer carried the majority of the scoring from that point on, finishing the game with 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting and seven rebounds.

The refrain was familiar from Panthers head coach Rob Jeter: For these smaller schools, there is not a lot they can even attempt to do to slow down Leuer.

"He would catch it in the post and just turn and shoot over the top," Jeter said. "Other than not letting him catch the ball I am not sure what else we can do. Maybe tickle him or something when he catches. I don't know."

Limiting UWM (4-6) to just 40 points and only 15 in the first half, the Panthers didn't manage a fast break point and pulled down just five offensive boards off 27 misses.

"Trying to get back on track shooting the basketball, this is the wrong team to do that against," Jeter said. "It is what they do to all the teams that come in here, especially in this place. They are long and disciplined defensively and it really makes it difficult for teams. They made it difficult for us tonight."

The game did get chippy for one brief moment when Jared Berggren was assessed with an intentional foul in the middle of the second half for apparently excessive swinging of his elbows.

Apparently is the key word.

"I have seen people get off the subway with a lot more force than that," Ryan said.


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