Game Day Grades: Indiana

MADISON - After a sluggish first half, No.14 Wisconsin founds its rhythm in the second half, dropping 50 points on Indiana by being aggressive driving to the paint and simply knocking down some open shots. BadgerNation hands out the grades

Offense B-

It was a tale of two halves for the Wisconsin offense. After going 7-for-27 (25.9 percent) from the field in the first half, the Badgers were able to find a rhythm in the second half going 13-for-21 (61.9 percent). The difference between the two halves was that Wisconsin utilized better ball movement on offense, there was less people standing around and started to finally knock down some shots and get themselves back in the game once the players started to get active.

Sam Dekker in particular got the offense going in the second half where he scored 14 of his team-high 16 points. Traevon Jackson was second on the team with 14 points, Ben Brust had 12 points, Josh Gasser had 11 points and Frank Kaminsky had 10 points, giving UW five double-figure scorers for the eighth time this season.

Besides shooting the basketball much better in the second half, Wisconsin was able to take care of the basketball with only three turnovers. The number could have been even lower had Kaminsky been stronger with the ball, having the ball ripped out of his hands by Will Sheehey in the low post.

Defense: B

Wisconsin was dominated by Indiana in the paint during the first meeting, giving up a staggering 52 points, but did a much better job by only allowing 22 points at the rim Tuesday.

Noah Vonleh was able to do his damage by scoring 18 points but the Badgers did a much better job of defending him in the second half when they finally were able to get their hands up and make him adjust his shot. Yogi Ferrell was the only other Hoosiers player to score in double figures with 24 points. Overall Indiana finished 24-for-57 (42.1 percent) from the field.

Sheehy was able to get off to a strong start for Indiana, scoring the teams first seven points of the game, but Gasser, along with the help from his teammates, were able to hold him scoreless the rest of the game.

Not only did Sheehy go cold the rest of the game, the defense was able to force him into three of the Hoosiers' 10 turnovers. Wisconsin was able to show active hands throughout the game and was able to challenge a lot of the Hoosier passes, recording six steals in the game. Nigel Hayes and Kaminsky each had two steals, and Wisconsin converted Hoosiers miscues into 14 points.

Overall: B

It was good to see the Badgers bounce back after such a poor first half, turning it up a notch to crawl back into the game and putting the game out of reach in the second half.

During the run, Wisconsin finally found ways to attack the rim and get easy layups, but Brust also played a key role in getting the Badgers over the hump. Brust was able to knock down back-to-back three pointers to get Wisconsin within one and knock down another three to put Wisconsin up for good in the game.

After the shooting slump, it was good to see Brust knock down critical shots to help Wisconsin, and it should only help his confidence going forward.

In the first half Wisconsin wasn't winning any loose ball situations or the rebounding battle, which allowed Indiana to go up 10 at halftime. But like the Badgers shooting, that changed in the final 20 minutes and Wisconsin became the aggressor, winning the loose ball battles and did a much better job of boxing out to get the rebound.

Wisconsin did a good job of attacking the rim and finding ways to get to the free throw line to go 22-for-24 in the game, including 19 times in the second half. With Wisconsin finding the open driving lanes, they were able to force Indiana into fouling, which helped Wisconsin get back in the game.

Game MVP: Sam Dekker. Dekker has been on a nice roll over the last three games (scoring in double figures) and led the Badgers with 16 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Dekker was also aggressive attacking the rim and finished the game 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Not only has his offense been impressive over the last three games, but you can't ignore his defensive presence as well. Dekker did a great job of contesting shots consistently, finishing the game with three blocks and recording a steal.

Wisconsin fans know he has a chance to be a great offensive player but the part of his game that was lacking was defense. If he continues to play this hard on defense the rest of the year, it will make Wisconsin a difficult team to beat.


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