Wisconsin worked to get into the paint against the Marquette zone using hi-low movement after hitting a few open 3-pointers, but the Badgers settled for a lot of outside shots for a second straight game, shooting 24 percent on 8-for-30 shots beyond the arc.
UW finished a porous 17-for-52 from the field, and hit just 9-for-22 on 2-point field goals.
Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers in scoring with another double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Kaminsky gave the Badgers plenty of second-chance opportunities throughout the game, but Wisconsin didn’t convert on those chances often (14 offensive rebounds led to only five second-chance points).
The Badgers finally converted two missed 3-pointers and two offensive rebounds later when Josh Gasser hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key. The shot ended a 9-0 Marquette run and pushed UW’s lead to 28-22.
Gasser filled up the stat sheet with 12 points and six rebounds and five assists in the game. In a low-scoring bout, Gasser hit timely 3-pointers every time Marquette inched closer. Gasser hit 4-of-8 on 3-pointers. The shots came with UW leading by 4, 7, 3 and 2 points.
Nigel Hayes was able to bounce back to pitch in five points, nine rebounds and three assists. The struggles for hobbled Sam Dekker continued, as the junior scored two points on 1-for-5 from the field with six rebounds and two turnovers.
Wisconsin had five scoring droughts of three minutes or more, which was mostly because of Marquette’s zone defense.
After facing a tough offensive team like Duke, the Badgers were able to get back on track against a less potent Marquette team.
Matt Carlino was the toughest task for UW’s defense on Saturday. Carlino, a BYU transfer, showed off his range and scoring ability, shooting 6-for-11 from the field (3-for-5 on 3-pointers) and led Marquette with 18 points and four rebounds.
But overall, UW held Marquette to just 28.6 percent shooting in the first half while holding the 20-12 rebounding advantage. Wisconsin led the game, except for a few minutes after trailing 2-0, and held the Golden Eagles to three scoreless droughts of at least five minutes.
The Badgers held Marquette to 13-for-45 from the field forcing 10 turnovers. Wisconsin sent the Golden Eagles to the free throw line just twice in the first half, which helped the Badgers stay ahead.
The Badgers are learning that teams are going to give them their best shot, especially considering their ranking. Coming off a rare home loss in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the Badgers bounced back with an ugly win.
Wisconsin shot just 32.7 percent from the field and had 11 turnovers, but fell in love with the long ball again, which has been spotty as of late. UW shot 26.7 from beyond the arc, but a lot of those shots seemed rushed.
It was a good thing that the Badgers played strong defense – holding Marquette to 38 points on 13-for-45 shooting and 28.9 percent in the game – because they didn’t capitalize on all of their offensive rebounds and open looks.
The defense bounced back after allowing Duke to shoot 65.2 shooting percentage on Wednesday. The Badgers made some unusual mental mistakes on the offensive end, like fouling after missed shots, which put Marquette in the bonus for the last 8:57 of the second half.
Marquette went on an 18-10 scoring run 12 minutes into the second half, but timely 3-pointers from Gasser kept the Badgers in the lead. Gasser’s fourth 3-pointer put the game away for Wisconsin, combined with strong defense and poor shooting from Marquette.
MVP: Josh Gasser. Wisconsin might have lost if it weren’t for the senior. He finished with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds and hit timely 3-pointers every time Marquette inched closer. Gasser made four 3-pointers when UW needed them most. With other Badgers, like Dekker and Hayes, continue to struggle shooting, Gasser has had to be more of a scorer, which he was able to do in an ugly affair.