Game Day Grades: No.15 American

MILWAUKEE - After a 10-minute adjustment period, second-seed Wisconsin showed why people think they are Final Four contenders, using a balanced offensive effort and stingy defense to register a 75-35 blasting of 15th-seed American. BadgerNation hands out the grades.

Offense: A

Wisconsin made it an emphasis early in the game to get Frank Kaminsky the basketball down low and it proved to be successful, as the junior scored the first six points of the game for the Badgers. But after Kaminsky's early run, the Badgers slowly went away from feeding him the basketball.

It didn't matter in the end considering Wisconsin was able to receive balance scoring throughout the game. Three UW players reached double figures with Traevon Jackson leading the way with 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field. Ben Brust was second with 17 points and Sam Dekker had 11 points.

Wisconsin finished the game 26-for-52 from the field but more impressively went 15-for-26 (57.7 percent) in the second half, as the Badgers were able to create a inside-outside game that helped Wisconsin's 10-point halftime lead grow even larger.

Wisconsin did suffer through a first half scoring drought where they went six minutes and 59-seconds with out a field goal. During that stretch, the Badgers saw American go on a 12-0 run to put the Eagles up 17-10. But after a made three by Brust, it was all Badgers after that.

Defense: A

Wisconsin was able to slow American down in the second half and held them to 3-for-19 shooting from the field. Wisconsin didn't allow the Eagles to get comfortable at any point in the final 20 minutes by contesting shots or cutting off passing lanes. American finished the game 11-for-37 (29.7 percent) from the field.

John Schoof and Tony Wroblicky each had 11 points in the game but seven of those points came in the final 5:19 with the game well deciding.

Wisconsin's ability to cut off passing lanes was able to force American into 17 turnovers, nine of which came off of Badgers steals. Nigel Hayes, Kaminsky, Dekker, and Jackson all had two steals for Wisconsin, turning those miscues into 16 points.

Even though Wisconsin played a good game defensively by limiting any second- chance points and making sure that Wroblicky didn't have success in the paint, they did commit 15 personal fouls. Some of the fouls were simple reach in fouls but Kaminsky in particular got into foul trouble, picking up four fouls in the game. Kaminsky being in foul trouble affected his performance on offense where he couldn't quite get into a rhythm. The Eagles finished the game 9-for-15 (60 percent) from the free throw line.

Overall: A

It didn't take the offense long to get going in the first or second half, as UW looked like a team with purpose once it got into rhythm. To start both halves, the Badgers were able to feed the basketball down low or find ways to attack the rim.

American was able to jump out to an early seven-point lead in the first half but after a made three by Brust, Wisconsin closed the half on a 19-5 run. With Wisconsin closing the first half strong, the Badgers started right where they left off in the second half, going on a 37-6 run. Wisconsin simply overwhelmed the Eagles on both offense and defense.

Dekker came out strong, assertive and active on offense and defense; finishing the game with a team-high six rebounds.

Wisconsin was able to receive 14 bench points with Nigel Hayes leading the way with six in 22 minutes of action. Hayes was able to find rhythm in his-mid range game and knocked down both of his free throws. Duje Dukan had five points off the bench, all of which came in the second half after he didn't see any floor time in the first half. Bronson Koenig had the other three points.

Wisconsin was able to win the rebounding battle 31-24, including 6-4 on the offensive glass. Wisconsin was able to convert their second chances into eight points.

Game MVP: Ben Brust. A key figure in getting Wisconsin back in the game after going down 17-10, Brust knocked down a three and scored the next 11 of 13 points to put UW in control for good. Brust finished the game 6-for-9 from the floor and was able to knock down four three's overall, which helped propel the Badgers to a 40-point victory. Brust also finished the game with four rebounds, two assists to zero turnovers.


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