After being unable to buy a basket at times against Virginia on Wednesday, the hoop was a lot more kind to the Wisconsin offense against one of its fiercest rivals. UW finished 22-55 (40.0 percent) from the field – 13 percentage points higher than its win three days ago – and was to consistently attack the basket, along with finding the open man along the perimeter.
The starting five for Wisconsin reached double figures, the fourth time this year the Badgers had five players score in double figures. Sam Dekker bounced back from one of his worst games offensively with 20 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Ben Brust, who also struggled Wednesday, added 13 points by doing his damage inside and outside the arc.
There were times where Wisconsin shot the basketball a little too early in the shot clock and didn't allow the offense to get set, causing a few many one-and-done possessions. Wisconsin finished 7-for-26 (26.9 percent) from three and while a handful were open looks, it would have been nice to see if the Badgers could have gotten some easy points in the paint. UW only had 24 points down low.
Wisconsin knew they were going to get to the free throw line with Marquette not being disciplined at times. Marquette had 25 personal fouls in the game, which led the Badgers going 19-for-23 (82.6 percent) from the charity stripe.
Besides being able to knock down free throws late in the game to ice victory number 10, the Badgers did a good job of taking care of the basketball with only six miscues.
Solid performance by Wisconsin for the second straight game, as the Badgers made it tough for the Golden Eagles to get any shot off and hold them to 43.1 percent shooting (25-for-58).
Wisconsin did a good job of keeping contain of Jamil Wilson in the first half but had trouble slowing him down in the second half. Wilson scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, and was a lot more aggressive in trying to find his shot. Davante Gardner and Chris Otule also scored in double figures with 16 and 11 points, respectively. All three got the better of Wisconsin in spurts.
Frank Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes getting into foul trouble in the first half allowed the Golden Eagles some easy chances in the post. Marquette finished with 34 points down low. Despite the Golden Eagles having success Kaminsky had three blocks and Evan Anderson had one block.
Wisconsin was able to force Marquette into nine turnovers. The Badgers were able to play smart, tough defense and still managed to make possessions tough, even if they couldn't force Marquette into a mistake.
The Badgers put together a solid showing against another tough team, as Marquette definitely gave Wisconsin some challenges by keeping themselves in the game. Unlike games last year, Wisconsin was able to knock down its free throws to help put them over the top, something it's doing consistently this season.
Although Traevon Jackson may struggle at times as the point guard, he still finds a way to generate offense. Jackson managed to get himself to the free throw line, disrupted the basketball efficiently with seven assists and didn't commit a turnover.
Wisconsin still needs to do a better job of attacking the glass and the Badgers lost the rebounding battle to Marquette (34-32). Wisconsin was able to grab 13 offensive rebounds, which translated into 13 second-chance points.
With the Badgers balanced scoring amongst the starters, the Badgers bench is going to have to do a better job of stepping up. Bronson Koenig and Hayes each had two points. Both are able to find good shots while they are on the floor, but haven't found the bottom of the net. In one play Hayes made a nice play beating his defender off the dribble but wasn't able to make an easy lay up. Hayes has to make that shot because they really don't get any easier.
Game MVP: Sam Dekker. Dekker put together his second double-double in the last three games with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Dekker only scored seven points against Virginia, but had seven points within the first 11 minutes Saturday. Whenever Marquette seemed to make a run, Dekker was there with his own answer. Dekker shot the ball effectively, going 7-for-11, and let the game come to him. He was able to find driving lanes and was the dominant player Badgers fans expect him to be.