Still Not Satisfied

Playing its first of four games in the Cancun Challenge, No.12 Wisconsin put six players in double figures in an 88-64 victory over Bowling Green, but the veterans are still hoping for better results.

MADISON - Three of the faces in Wisconsin's basketball program – Ben Brust, Sam Dekker and Josh Gasser - addressed the media following the Badgers' first comfortable victory of the season, but the tone was far from celebratory.

For a team with high expectations and aspirations to win the Big Ten, a 24-point win the third week of November doesn't appear to have the same type of meaning it did in previous years.

"I definitely don't think we're happy at all with our defensive performance," said Gasser following No.12 Wisconsin's 88-64 victory over Bowling Green. "Sixty-four (points) is still too much; too many points in the paint; too many uncontested layups. Easy buckets we're not accustomed to giving up. We're still working through some things. I think it's better than last game, but not where we want to be."

It might not be where Wisconsin (5-0) hopes to be when conference play begins January 3, or even when it hits the court Saturday looking to equal the best start of the Bo Ryan era, but it certainly appeared it was a step in the right direction.

Wisconsin finally knows what it feels like to build and sustain a lead throughout the second half, leading by as many as 25 points and leading by double-digits the final 24-plus minutes.

Led by Brust's 19 points, Wisconsin put six players in double figures for the first time since Dec.28 1995 vs. Eastern Illinois and are now averaging 81.0 points per game after scoring 88-or-more points in consecutive games for the first time since November 2005.

Wisconsin also finished 12-for-20 from 3-point range (60.0 percent) and has shot 45 percent or better from deep in four of five games.

"They're just a tough team to cover," said Bowling Green coach Louis Orr. "I don't think we'll play a more versatile offensive team all year than Wisconsin."

After getting gashed defensively the last two games, the Badgers turned in a better defensive effort. Wisconsin held the Falcons (1-2) to 44.4 percent shooting (28 of 63) from the floor, 11.1 percent from 3-point range (1-for-9) and 0.97 points per possession, far from the poor effort Gasser' eluded to.

While allowing 42 points in the paint, Wisconsin didn't allow a shooter to score over 30 points for the first time in three games, as the Falcons were led by Spencer Parker's 17 points.

"We have to get better and that's what all the coaches are going through now, adjusting to the rules, moving your feet, getting in position and doing things better," said Ryan. "We talk about it all the time how we have to get better."

Two days after setting a new program scoring record with 43 points on 16 of 19 shooting, junior Frank Kaminsky scored 14 points on 5 of 8 shots, as Bowling Green threw defenders at him to cause him to use shot fakes and move the ball within the offense.

UW also got solid production from true freshman Bronson Koenig. Playing extended minutes with George Marshall (concussion) missing his third straight game, Koenig scored a career-high 10 points (4-for-6 shooting, 2-for-3 for 3-point range) and added three rebounds in 27 minutes.

In four games (he didn't play against Florida), Koenig is averaging 5.5 points per game and is shooting a team-best 75 percent from the floor and 80 percent from 3-point range.

"He's producing," said Ryan. "He's a player."

In a game that featured six ties and four lead changed in the first 10 minutes, Wisconsin built a comfortable 16-point halftime cushion based on a 24-8 run to close the half that was a combination of hot 3-point shooting and good ball movement.

Wisconsin shot 7 of 13 from 3-point range in the first half, and all five 3-pointers on the run were the result of assists. Wisconsin finished with assists on 14 of its 28 buckets.

While the Badgers might have been ironing out some rough edges defensively, Wisconsin's offense is making lives difficult for opposing coaches.

"We have four, five guys that any night could easily lead our team in scoring or lead multiple teams in scoring," said Dekker. "It's probably tough to scout against us, and we have to use that to our advantage that we have good balance."

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