Game Day Grades: Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Wisconsin had a steady pulse of the game's tempo until its offense stopped clicking and its defense failed to guard the post. As a result, the Badgers dropped to fifth place in the Big Ten. Badger Nation hands out the grades.

Offense: C

Points have been hard to come by for Wisconsin, and Tuesday was no exception. The Badgers shot 10-for-26 from the field and 6-for-16 from the three point line in the first half which took them into the half with a 26-24 advantage.

Six of the Badgers first seven field goals were three pointers, but that shooting didn't last the entire game. Wisconsin finished shooting 36.5 percent (19-for-52) from the field and 39.3 percent from three-point range (11-for-28).

Jared Berggren hit two of his four three-point attempts, but needed some help from the bank on his first attempt. Berggren paced the Badgers offense in the first half with eight points, but he disappeared in the second half except for one made three in with 4:29 left in the game.

Mike Bruesewitz was more of a factor against the Buckeyes after his scoreless performance against Minnesota Saturday. Bruesewitz was 3-for-5 with eight points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out two assists. Ben Brust tallied nine points on 50 percent shooting from the three-point line, but he didn't get in much of a rhythm the whole game.

Traevon Jackson (12 points) shot the ball well after coming off of a game-winning performance Saturday, but he did turn the ball over three times. Ryan Evans was cold from the field shooting. Evans scored just two points on 1-for-10 from the field.

The free throw line wasn't a struggle for the Badgers, mainly because they didn't get there. One of the reasons was that UW was hanging around the three-point arc for most of the game. OSU was dominant in the paint, outscoring the Badgers 34-14.

Defense: D

Wisconsin out-rebounded OSU 16-15 in the first half, but didn't keep that up for the game. Ohio State finished with 32 rebounds and while UW forced 10 turnovers, they only scored five points off them compared to the Buckeyes' 13 points off turnovers.

Deshaun Thomas, the Big Ten's leading scorer (20.0 ppg), was contained initially by the Badgers, but he still managed 11 points on 50 percent shooting from the field in the first half. In the second half Thomas couldn't be stopped in the second half, though. The Buckeyes kept feeding the 6-7 junior and he finished the game with 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Aaron Craft gave Wisconsin more trouble in the second half and finished with 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

OSU shot 51.1 percent from the field (23-for-45) and shot 3-for-5 on three point attempts. UW wasn't protecting the low block well, giving up 34 points in the paint and allowed five offensive rebounds.

The Buckeyes got hot and went on a 15-0 run lead starting with 13 minutes left that changed the game. It wasn't just the defense that was the problem in the drought; it was the Badgers inability to slow down Thomas. The Badgers' seven minute scoreless drought also didn't help their defensive effort.

Overall: D

Overall the Badgers were not consistent enough to beat the No. 11 team in the nation. The offense was there for 25 minutes but then the wheels fell off.

The defense was strong at times, but the Badgers gave up 51.1 percent from the field and most baskets coming from inside five feet, which was surprising after their defensive effort against Trevor Mbakwe (8 points) on Saturday.

The Badgers had trouble matching up with Thomas, similar to the way they did against Minnesota's guard Andre Hollins. Thomas was forced to take some tough shots, but despite that he was able to knock down the shots, even though did get some easy looks at the basket against Berggren and Evans.

Before the seven minute drought in the second half, the Badgers were clicking. Jackson, Brust and Sam Dekker were knocking down shots and it looked like UW would finally put up a big second half. However, after Wisconsin took a 41-37 lead, the Buckeyes got out and running and went on a 15-0 run.

Game MVP: Traevon Jackson. The MVP could have gone to Berggren, but Berggren contributed just three points in the second half. Jackson played well coming off of his game-winning performance Saturday and also going into the state where his father, Jim Jackson, played for three years was a tough task. Jackson scored 12 points and on 5-for-9 shooting, although he did have three turnovers. Jackson needed more help from the rest of his teammates though.


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