After pounding the ball inside, particularly to sophomore forward Alando Tucker, in a 69-64 win over No. 12 Maryland Tuesday, the Badgers (4-1) turned to the perimeter, hoisting 26 three-pointers. Eleven of those shots found the net, with Wilkinson connecting on 3 of 5 attempts and senior guard Chambliss knocking down 4 of 6 on his way to a 14-point evening.
Wilkinson, a senior forward, was the catalyst, scoring 15 second-half points, including all 11 of the Badgers points in a two-minute, 41-second span that saw UW take a 61-51 lead with 5:57 left to play.
Rutgers scored eight points in that stretch, with five from guard Quincy Douby, who finished with 19 on 7 of 14 shooting. Freshman forward Ollie Bailey tallied 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting, helping the Scarlet Knights build a 32-14 advantage on points in the paint.
Wisconsin, though, took advantage of open looks on the perimeter, befuddling a Rutgers defense that allowed Penn State to shoot 8 of 18 from beyond the arc in an 83-80 Scarlet Knight loss Wednesday night at the Rutgers Athletic Center. Saturday, the Badgers made 49 percent of their field goal attempts, but were a startling 14 of 23 in the second half, including 6 of 11 three-pointers. The deft perimeter shooting made up for a 9 of 17 performance from the free-throw line.
The Badgers led by as many as 13 points in the second half, after triples from senior forward Zach Morley and Wilkinson made it 42-29 with 16 minutes to spare. Rutgers drew with five with 11:48 to play, but Chambliss connected on consecutive threes to hold Rutgers at bay, 48-39, with 10:07 left.
Chambliss' sole two-point basket came with 3:49 remaining, capping a four-point Badger run that re-extended the lead to 11 points, 67-56.
Wilkinson led the charge from the opening tip. His jumper with 11 seconds left in the first half gave the Badgers their 29-23 halftime margin, and capped an 11-point half for the 6-foot-8 forward, who had scored just 16 points in three previous games combined.
Wilkinson scored seven points in the opening 6:11 of play, helping the Badgers to an early 18-9 lead. Wisconsin, though, then survived a miserable eight-minute, 10-second scoring drought, only manageable because Rutgers nearly matched UW's first-half offensive fizzle. After pulling within 18-16 with 10:50 left until halftime, the Scarlet Knights were scoreless for 6:25.
Kammron Taylor, Wisconsin's sophomore point guard who ceded his starting spot to Chambliss Saturday, scored nine points in 21 minutes off the bench. He connected on a layup and a triple to end the first-half scoring drought and give the Badgers a 23-16 lead.
After scoring a career-high 27 against Maryland, Tucker was held to five points Saturday, but had two steals and played 37 minutes. Morley nearly had a double-double, contributing eight points and a team-high nine rebounds.