The Badgers' ‘Difference Maker'

Forward scores 18 off the bench in 75-49 win

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College of Charleston coach Tom Herrion had two words to describe Wisconsin forward Zach Morley: "Difference maker."


"We said that in the scouting report: ‘difference maker,'" Herrion said. "‘Changes the game when he comes in the game. A hard guy to guard because he plays a couple positions and he's so long.'"


As he has repeatedly this season, Morley provided a spark off the bench against the Cougars, tallying 18 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes. Saturday's performance was just another example of what has come to be expected of Morley.


"When you watch and evaluate their team, he's a guy that has his hands on the ball the most in terms of tipping balls, loose balls, difference-making plays," Herrion said.


Morley's play was even more important Saturday, with starting power forward Alando Tucker out with a right foot injury. It was also important for Morley, who scored just three points and had four turnovers in the Badgers' 71-56 loss to Alabama Tuesday.


"He's a very, very talented option for them especially with the young man Tucker being out, I think he's been a guy that's really stepped up and gained a lot from the opportunity to play minutes—unfortunately due to the injury," Herrion said. "He's a very good player. He really hurt us today. Morley was a difference maker and clearly, looking at the stat line, that couldn't be more evident now."


Morley was 7 of 11 from the field in the 75-49 win over the College of Charleston, including some circus shots in the second half. About five minutes into the half he took a pass from junior point guard Devin Harris along the block and went up with three Cougars in his face. Morley somehow got the ball over their outstretched arms, slipping the ball into the rim, drawing a foul and converting a three-point play to give Wisconsin a 45-25 lead.


Later in the half, Morley drove baseline, found himself under the backboard and scooped in a layup. Morley also displayed quickness on the perimeter, driving from the top of the key and converting a layup to give UW a 55-33 lead with just more than 11 minutes left to play.


"He finished his shots inside," junior guard Devin Harris said. "He played better defense, moved his feet a little bit better (than against Alabama). And he made some really weird shots."


With just more than two minutes left in the game, Morley got ahead of the Cougars on a fast break and went down awkwardly after absorbing an intentional foul from Charleston forward Marcus Johnson. Morley hit the ensuing free throws but was noticeable limping on the next sequence. After he grabbed a rebound on the Badgers' next defensive possession, Wisconsin called timeout to get him out of the game.


"I think he'll be OK," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said.

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