Wisconsin lives and dies by the three-ball. The Badgers attempted 27 against the Buckeyes and only made five of them. Wisconsin was always in the game but for whatever reason, they fell in love with the three-point shot Saturday and it cost them.
Even though the Badgers attempted so many threes, one would assume Wisconsin was having trouble getting the ball down into the low post. Although the Buckeyes did a good job of making the Badgers earn their points, the Badgers still managed to get 26 points in the paint, which begs the question of why Wisconsin took many shots from the outside.
Wisconsin had four of its starters score in double figures (Josh Gasser was the only one who wasn't). Ryan Evans led the way with 14 points, Jordan Taylor had 12 points, Mike Bruesewitz had 11 points and Jared Berggren had 10 points. The team managed to go 22-for-55 (40 percent) from the floor.
Wisconsin did a decent job of taking care of the basketball only turning the ball over nine times against the Buckeyes' high-pressure defense.
Wisconsin struggled defending Jared Sullinger, who had his way with the Badgers in the first half by getting any shot he really wanted around the rim. Sullinger went 8-for-16 from the floor and had 24 points. Sullinger had the Buckeyes first nine points of the game.
Besides letting Sullinger get his points, the Badgers also allowed two other Buckeyes score in double figures. Deshaun Thomas had 16 points and William Buford had 11 points, but Buford needed 15 points to do it.
Besides letting Sullinger dominate the Badgers big men, Wisconsin allowed the Buckeyes to get nine offensive rebounds, which led to 15-second chance points. No team can't let the Buckeyes get second chance opportunities like that and expect to win. The Badgers, at times, struggled to box out, resulting in the Buckeyes out rebounding the Badgers, 30-25.
Wisconsin forced nine turnovers, which led in to 14 points. Seven of the nine turnovers came off of Badger steals. Wisconsin was able to hold the Buckeyes to 22-for-51 (43.1 percent) shooting from the floor. The Buckeyes only made one three but it couldn't have come at more of a critical time. With the Buckeyes up one, Buford hit a three with 2:28 to go to put them up 54-50.
The Badgers were able to manage four blocked shots against the Buckeyes. Berggren and Bruesewitz each had two blocks.
Wisconsin played well enough to win but Ohio State made more plays and hit more key shots down the stretch then the Badgers.
The Badgers only managed to get to the free throw line three times - making all three - and didn't get to the charity stripe until there was 6:46 left in the game. Ohio State did a good job of not fouling (only 12 team fouls) but the Badgers have to be able try and attack the rim to try to get to free throw line.
Wisconsin was only able to get three points from its bench. Kaminsky hit a three in the second half. Ben Brust played the most off the bench but he couldn't find a rhythm in 22 minutes of action.
Rob Wilson only received two minutes - all in the second half - but he missed a pair of threes in his two minutes. Wilson's first three was early in the shot clock but he had just come in to the game and was cold. You would have liked to see Wilson take a higher percentage shot. His other three came late in the shot clock so you can't fault him.
Evans had a good first half registering 10 of his 14 points. He was able to find his shot early by getting down low and using his post moves while provided solid defense on Sullinger in the second half.
Game MVP: Mike Bruesewitz. Nobody on Wisconsin played an outstanding game against the Buckeyes but Bruesewitz helped keep the Badgers in the game. Bruesewitz ended the game with 11 points and 11 rebounds, which gives him his first career double-double.
Bruesewitz was held in check in the first half but was able to get into an offensive rhythm after halftime by converting second-chance points. He was able to get down low and he used his strength and good footwork to get him some easy points. Bruesewitz hit a three-pointer, which helped the Badgers cut the lead to 51-50 before the Buford dagger. Bruesewitz hustled through out the game and did everything he could to try and help the Badgers win.