Wisconsin looks to shake off season-opening loss when it hosts Siena Sunday night

After the surprise home defeat in the season opener, the first for the program in 14 years, No.17 Wisconsin looks to rebound 48 hours later when it hosts Siena tonight at the Kohl Center. BadgerNation takes a closer look at the matchup.

Siena (0-1) vs. No.17 Wisconsin (0-1)

Date/Time – Sunday, November 15, 7 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,287)

Television – ESPNU

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series – First Meeting


3 Zak Showalter (6-2 Junior Guard, 8.0 ppg)

10 Nigel Hayes (6-8 Junior Forward, 17.0 ppg)

22 Ethn Happ (6-9 Freshman Forward, 4.0 ppg)

24 Bronson Koenig (6-4 Junior Guard, 17.0 ppg)

30 Vitto Brown (6-8 Junior Forward, 11.0 ppg)


11 Jordan Hill (6-3 Sophomore Guard, 0.0 ppg)

21 Khalil Iverson (6-5 Freshman Forward, 4.0 ppg)

30 Charlie Thomas (6-8 Freshman Forward, 6.0 ppg)


Iverson made a nice first impression on those able to stomach watching Wisconsin’s uneven performance. The true freshman didn’t shoot well (1-for-6) but had seven rebounds (five offensive), three blocks and three steals, the latter two led the team.


0 Javion Ogunyemi (6-8 Junior Forward, 15.0 ppg)

1 Marquis Wright (6-0 Junior Guard, 20.0 ppg)

3 Ryan Oliver (6-5 Senior Guard, 5.0 ppg)

24 Lavon Long (6-7 Junior Forward, 15.0 ppg)

31 Brett Bisping (6-8 Junior Forward, 10.0 ppg)


5 Kenny Wormley (6-4 Freshman Guard, 3.0 ppg)

15 Nico Clareth (6-5 Freshman Guard, 2.0 ppg)

32 Evan Fisher (6-8 Freshman Forward, 2.0 ppg)


Wright picked up right where he left off last season, as he averaged 12.5 points and a team-leading 5.1 assists last season. He also led the team with 63 steals, making him a triple threat for teams to try to contain.


MADISON – Struggling on offense throughout the second half and on defense – the program’s calling card – throughout the game, No.17 Wisconsin was dealt the first upset of the college basketball season, as Western Illinois shocked the Badgers, 69-67, in front of equally surprised home crowd.

Hayes scored 17 points in the first half but was held scoreless after halftime after the Leathernecks (1-0) changed their rotation patterns on him. Koenig scored 12 of his 17 in the second half; he needed two more. Having the opportunity to send the game to overtime, Koenig’s jumper from just inside the free throw line rimmed out and time expired during the scramble for the rebound.

On a night that began with a celebration of its past, raising a 2015 NCAA finalist banner to the Kohl Center raters, the future looks unclear after Badgers (0-1) saw a number of streaks end in ugly fashioned.

It also showed that nothing is going to be handed to a team a handful of months removed from playing for a national championship in April and having only 12 games decided by nine points or less.

And with no scholarship seniors and plenty of new faces filling major roles, there were plenty of frustrating moments, especially when Wisconsin’s defensive rotation wasn’t quite up to snuff. Although 14-42 on the road since the beginning of the 2011 season, Western Illinois had little trouble finding the bottom of the net, shooting 60.9 percent in the first half.

The Leathernecks cooled slightly (48.1 percent in the second half, 54 percent for the game) but easily converted at the rim against the slow-footed Badgers with quick guards J.C. Fuller (game-high 20 points) and Garret Covington (16).

UW kept pace through the first 20 minutes, leading 44-37 at halftime, but when the Badgers’ offense stopped functioning, starting 4-for-24 to begin the half, the Leathernecks put together an 11-1 run to make the score 64-56 with 6:24 remaining.

Wisconsin tried its best to claw back in the game, going on a 9-3 run thanks to a timely charge by Zak Showalter (eight points – all in the first 7:28), six points from Vitto Brown (10) and five from Koenig, including a 3-pointer from the elbow that answered a 3-point play by Covington.

But when presented with the chance to take the lead after Koenig forced Fuller into a hasty pass along the baseline, Koenig missed a jumper on the offensive end and fouls by Brown – resetting the shot clock with one second left – and another by Iverson on the perimeter put Western Illinois in the bonus with 10 seconds left.

Covington made both free throws and that was that.

- Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com


Wisconsin is 7-1 all-time against teams currently in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

The Badgers most recent game against a MAAC school was in 2010, a 50-35 victory over Manhattan in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.

UW’s only loss to a MAAC team came on the road at Canisius in 1959.


Wisconsin had its streak of 51 consecutive wins in regular-season, non-conference games against unranked teams end.

Wisconsin had won 60 straight home wins against teams outside of the six major conferences before Friday’s loss.

UW lost for the first time in a season opener since 2001 – Ryan’s first season – and the first time in a home opener since 1997.

Wisconsin hasn’t lost consecutive games to unranked nonconference opponents since November 2001


Siena is the first team since at least 1985 to open the season against both the defending NCAA Tournament champion and runner-up.

Duke led 44-27 at the half and out-scored the Saints just 48-47 after intermission. Siena shot 51% from the field in the second half.

The Saints committed 29 fouls, leading to 36 Duke free throws. Wright played just nine minutes in the first half after picking up three quick fouls. Bisping and senior Ryan Olivereach picked up their fourth fouls early in the second half, and Oliver and Ogunyemi eventually fouled out.

The Saints are looking for the first road win against a Top 25 opponent since moving to Division I in 1976.


Well that was disappointing.

It’s not the most shocking loss I’ve seen Wisconsin suffer under Bo Ryan but it certainly could be in the conversation. We knew the Badgers were young and inexperienced and there would be growing pains, but the lack of production from Nigel Hayes in the second half and constant sloppy play was the team’s undoing.

Hayes is beloved by a lot of fans for his goofy antics but it all comes down to leadership now, especially since that he’s going to be looked at as the leader of this team and one of its best offensive threat. There seemed to be more leadership in the postgame interview room than on the court in the moment when things were unravelling, saying after that the team has to own the loss and learn from it.

It doesn’t matter if UW is playing the best team in the Big Ten or the projected worst team in the Summit League: rushed shots, sloppy defense and no clear on-court leadership are not a winning trio.

The Badgers are talented enough to beat Siena but the Saints put up a solid fight against Duke Friday, meaning Wisconsin should again by on upset alert. The Saints have players who can slash to the rim and create, things that the Badgers were badly burned on in game number one.

I believe we’ll find out more about this team tonight than we did on Friday, especially how they respond to adversity. I think Wisconsin will make enough corrections defensively and see more shots drop, resulting in a 12-point win. If they don’t, whoa boy.

Worgull's Record: 0-1

Points off Prediction: 31 (31 per game)

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