Game Day Grades: Green Bay

MADISON - Finding an offensive rhythm late in the first half, Wisconsin was able to find the right gear in time to get past Green Bay Wednesday night. Badger Nation hands out the grades.

Offense: B

The Badgers offense got off to another slow start with only one made field goal in the first 6:42 of the game. With the offense struggling to get going, the Phoenix were able to jump out to an early 9-2 lead.

The Badgers did a good job of fighting back and eventually taking the lead for good late in the first half. Wisconsin was able to get in the game by making some mid-range shots and getting the basketball into the post.

The Badgers shot 38.5 percent from the field in the first half but finished the game going 24-51 (47.1 percent) from the floor. The Badgers went 5-for-13 from distance against the Phoenix.

Wisconsin had three starters score in double figures. Ryan Evans led the team with 13 points and Jared Berggren had 10 points. Sam Dekker - making his second consecutive start with Mike Breusewitz still suffering from a concussion - also had 10 points.

The Badgers received good production with 22 points from their bench. Frank Kaminsky and Zak Showalter each had eight points and George Marshall had six points.

After having trouble taking care of the basketball against Marquette, Wisconsin did a much better job with only six turnovers in the game. The Badgers were able to cut down on dumb mistakes, communicate well and were able to make crisp passes to each other for open shot attempts.

Defense: B

Green Bay was able to jump out to an early lead because they were able to find success in the paint, scoring 32 points in the paint. The Phoenix were able to drive with relative ease to the basket with little resistance in the first half, but Wisconsin played much tougher defense and took away driving lanes in the second 20 minutes. Overall Green Bay shot 21-56 (37.5 percent) from the field.

The Badgers had a block party with eight blocks in the game, six of which came in the first half. Berggren led the team with four blocks. The Badgers were able to contest any shot the Phoenix put up and tried to make sure no shot was an easy shot.

Wisconsin was able to force Green Bay into nine turnovers, five of which were steals. Traevon Jackson led the team with two steals and was very active on the defensive side by trying to make his man work for anything he got in the game.

The Badgers also did a good job of staying disciplined on defense by committing 11 team fouls. Green Bay went 9-12 from the charity stripe.

Overall: B

The Badgers came out much stronger in the second half then they did to begin the game. Dekker got the Badgers scoring going with a three ball, as Wisconsin scored on its next four offensive possessions to make the game 39-27.

Showalter played well off the bench in recording a season high 23 minutes. Showalter was efficient with the minutes he received: going 3-5 for eight points, pulled down four rebounds and had three assists. Showalter was able to consistently find the open man on offense and drove the basketball to the paint. I would say this has been Showalter's most impressive game so far on the season.

Evans had a nice bounce back game against Green Bay by leading the team in scoring with 13 on 5-12 shooting and was effective on the glass collecting seven rebounds. Also when the Badgers were down, he was able to provide a huge spark to the team and to the crowd. Evans was able to find an open Berggren who was able to throw down an impressive dunk while being fouled. Evans let the game come to him, and he was able to put together an all-around performance.

Wisconsin was out-rebounded 35-32, winning its first game of the season when having fewer rebounds than its opponent (1-4), but did a much better job of getting the basketball into the interior in the second half. The Badgers had a total of 28 points in the paint with 16 coming in the second half. Wisconsin tried to find both Berggren and Kaminsky in the second half and it worked, as both got some easy buckets by slipping behind their defenders or using their size and post moves to score.

Game MVP: Ryan Evans. Evans struggled mightily against Marquette but was able to put together a nice bounce back game. Hopefully his play will restore his confidence. Evans still needs to work on his free throw shot (he air balled one of his attempts) but was able to go 3-for-6 from the line.

With Wisconsin down early in the game, Evans was able to provide the spark and helped get Wisconsin back in the game.

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