Badgers Make It Look Easy

Josh Gasser scored 10 points, pulled down 12 boards and dished out 10 assists for the first triple-double in UW history Sunday in a 78-46 victory over Northwestern

MADISOSN —First impressions of No.18 Wisconsin's 78-46 victory against Northwestern Sunday night at the Welsh Ryan Arena.

- Well that was just silly.

While Wisconsin played its best game of the year, Northwestern chose to play its worst. The result was a contest that was decided within the first ten minutes of the first half.

The Badgers offensive stats suggest an exhibition game against the likes of some obscure northern Minnesota school, not a road game in the Big Ten.

UW shot 55.4 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from beyond the arc. They grabbed 10 offensive rebounds on 25 missed shots and dished out 22 assists against three turnovers. Five different players finished with double digit scoring.

Most impressively, the Badgers averaged an other-worldly 1.52 points per possession.

- Gasser made a name for himself early this year, becoming just the third freshman ever to start under Bo Ryan, joining Badger greats Devin Harris and Alando Tucker with that distinction.

He ensured he will live forever in Wisconsin lore Sunday, however, with the first triple-double ever in Badger basketball history. The Port Washington native just cleared the bar, scoring an efficient 10 points, grabbing 12 rebounds (at six-foot-three) and dishing out 10 assists.

The final dime, a driving pass to senior walk-on Brett Valentyn for a three-pointer, caused the bench to erupt in glee and actually got a smile from the normally stoic Gasser.

If we are too trust Ryan's trust in Gasser (as we should), this game should obvious foreshadowing of what is to come.

- Like any good team, when the role players catch fire, the Badgers become nearly impossible to defend.

Mike Bruesewitz showed off his new and improved perimeter shot, knocking down two three pointers and a long two with his foot on the line to finish the game with 10 points. Nankivil continued to roll, knocking down 7-of-10 shots, including a couple rare post feeds.

With Gasser, Keaton Nankivil and Mike Bruesewitz scoring early and often, Northwestern had to stop doubling down on Jon Leuer in the post. Leuer took advantage in the second half, scoring all but two of his game leading 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

- Zone defenses always have trouble rebounding. With no man marked to box out, it is easy for an offense to slip through the cracks and grab a few offensive boards.

Still, the paltry effort the Wildcats showed Sunday was pathetic. UW grabbed 10 offensive rebounds on 25 missed shots that broke what was left of the Northwestern resolve.

One play in particular stands out, at the end of the first half. Nankivil grabbed two offensive boards, the Badgers took about one minute off the clock and the play culminated with a Tim Jarmusz three-pointer.

And Wildcat nation screamed in anger.

- It wasn't all great for UW though.

Ryan Evans struggled all day, playing six minutes and turning the ball over twice. After both turnovers, Ryan immediately pulled Evans from the game.


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