The Best In The State

The Badgers beat Wisconsin-Green Bay 70-56 Monday night with forward Mike Bruesewitz chipping in a career high 18 points in 31 minutes. The win gives UW a sweep over the in-state Division One programs.

MADISON — Last season, Wisconsin took down eventual National Champion Duke in a tightly battled, emotionally exhaustive game that culminated with the student section rushing the court and Jon Leuer being lifted up among the Grateful Red. Two games later, the Badgers were struggling to keep pace with Wisconsin-Green Bay, eventually losing for the first time ever in the inter-state series.

Two days ago, the Badgers expended a similar — if not quite as intense — amount of energy over a full 40 minutes to beat Marquette at the Bradley Center.

There would be no hangover this time against the Phoenix.

Knocking down 10-of-17 three-pointers and 18-of-22 free throws, UW took down Green Bay 70-56 Monday night to restore the dominance Wisconsin once held over the program to the tune of 15 straight wins. The victory gives Wisconsin a sweep over all three in-state Division 1 programs

Of the 10 treys Monday, nine of them came from forwards Mike Bruesewitz, Keaton Nankivil and Jon Leuer, proving to be an unstoppable mix of height and skill.

"And Jared [Berggren] is a better three-point shooter then all of them," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "It is an advantage. We shoot them with confidence and you know within the offense you can do that."

The Badgers finished the game with four players in double digit scoring, with Keaton Nankivil and Mike Bruesewitz joining Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor's reserved seats at the table.

Bruesewitz in particular shined, finishing the game with a career high 18 points (6-of-8 shooting), knocking down two three-pointers while overpowering the smaller UWGB team inside the paint, earning three separate trips to the free throw line. After collecting a career high eight rebounds at Marquette, Brueser has put together his best two games of the season back-to-back.

"He has got energy," Ryan said. "Sometimes it gets away from him with his decisions, but I would rather have to tone somebody down then get them excited about what they are doing. And that is why Mike can always play for me. Guys like that have always been able to play for me. It is intelligent aggression. Active. Without his play, we would not be the team we are right now."

Unlike every other blowout at the Kohl Center this season, Green Bay fought over the entire 40 minutes and never let the score get out of hand. The Badgers led just 22-17 with 4:27 left to play in the first half before going on a run to cement their lead.

A three-pointer and a drop-step layup by Bruesewitz and a jumper and dunk from Leuer gave Wisconsin a 12 point lead heading into the break, allowing Wisconsin to cruise in the second half.

"In the first half, we had a five minute span that really cost us the game," Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle said.

"We broke down a couple times defensively and we took a few bad shots, and just like that we are down 12."

An up-and-down player his entire career, Nankivil has come by some consistency the past three games, finishing with double-digit points three games in a row for the first time ever in his career.

Nankivil knocked down four-of-five three-pointers, all on kick-outs off dribble-penetration and dunked home his other field goal off an offensive rebound.

Along with his four blocks and six rebounds (three offensive), the label "clean-up guy" was thrown out to describe Nankivil.

Ryan decided he preferred a different title.

"I have used mixer, but usually mixers cannot shoot the ball as well as Keaton can. So he is a shooting-mixer," Ryan said. "He did some good things and he has been. I am not trading him."

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