Game Day Grades: Milwaukee

MADISON - With conference play looming, Wisconsin returned to the court with a knock-the-rust-off performance that was a confidence builder for a number of players who have struggled in the first halfof the season. Badger Nation hands out the grades.

Offense: A

Even after a 10-day layoff for final exams, Wisconsin shot the basketball well - going 28-for-59 (47.5 percent) from the floor. Wisconsin was able to work the basketball around, able to get themselves open, record 26 points in the paint and get three players in double figures. Ryan Evans scored a season-high 19 points on 8-for-16 shooting, Traevon Jackson had a career-high 13 points and Jared Berggren chipped in 11.

Mike Bruesewitz - who missed the last two games due to a concussion - returned to action against the Panthers and led the Badgers off the bench with eight points. Bruesewitz was able to find himself down low for easy baskets or put backs. Overall the Badgers bench scored 18 points. George Marshall knocked down both of his three attempts for six points and Frank Kaminsky and Zak Showalter each had two points.

Wisconsin shot the basketball well from the free throw line in going 11-for-13 (84.6 percent) from the charity stripe. Berggren went to the free throw line a team-high six times and was able to knock down five attempts.

The Badgers did a good job of taking care of the basketball in the first half with only three turnovers. Jackson committed his only turnover in the game by throwing an intended pass to Berggren away on the team's first possession. It was just poor communication between the two of them after few practices during the break. The Badgers finished the game with eight turnovers.

Defense: A-

The Badgers' defense forced the Panthers into some tough shots in the first half, resulting in an ugly 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) from the floor in the first half. Overall the Panthers shot 22-for-50 (44 percent) from the field.

Milwaukee had two players score in double figures. Paris Gulley had 16 points and J.J. Panoske had 13 points off the bench.

Wisconsin played good smart defense only committing 12 personal fouls. Milwaukee was only able to get to the free throw line four times knocking down two of its freebies.

The Badgers defense forced the Panthers into 13 turnovers in the game; seven of the turnovers were steals. Showalter and Jackson each had two steals. Wisconsin was able to create the turnovers into 13 points.

The one area of weakness Saturday for Wisconsin was the Panthers were able to score 26 points in the paint. Berggren and Kaminsky each had a block but at times the Wisconsin bigs had trouble boxing out.

Overall: A

Milwaukee was able to stay in the game for a little bit and build a 10-8 lead, but Wisconsin went on a 17-1 run to open the game up. In the second half the Badgers offense suffered a dry spell, going over five minutes without a basket until Bruesewitz's unleashed an impressive layup for his first points of the game that started with a good pivot move.

Jackson played well, took good shots in going 5-for-8 from the floor, took care of the basketball and had three assists. With Evans struggling from the line so far this season, it was good to see him knock down three of his four free throws and shoot them with confidence.

The Badgers out rebounded the Panthers 34 to 20, including getting 10 on the offensive glass. Although it was an improvement from the Green Bay game when the Badgers lost the rebounding battle, Wisconsin was only able to get three points off of their second chance opportunities.

Game MVP: Ryan Evans. Evans played with confidence tonight and he let the game come to him. Evans will try and do too much at times to try and help the Badgers, but he took what the Panthers gave him. He was able to knock down his mid-range shots and was able to find himself down low for some easy baskets. Evans also was able to pull down seven rebounds, four assists and one steal.

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