Men's basketball notes

The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team thrived in many areas in a 76-50 win Wednesday

Cleaning up the glass

Wisconsin out-rebounded Michigan 39 to 28, led by senior forward Mike Wilkinson's nine.

"I thought they certainly out-scrapped us on the glass," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. "There was a lot of times it seemed we were right there to get the ball and it went through our hands and went to one of their players. When your team struggles it seems those kinds of things become very hard things to do and accomplish. I thought that certainly was the case for us where just making the simple play of grabbing the ball and getting possession of it wasn't as simple as you'd like to think it is."

Part of the difficulty for the Wolverines was losing junior forward Chris Hunter, who hobbled off the court after re-injuring his ankle. The Badgers credited their ease of success off the glass in part to Hunter being sidelined.

"We did a pretty good job getting to the loose balls that were tipped around and making plays off those," Wilkinson said.

Clearing the bench

Wisconsin's 76-50 win gave some bench players an opportunity for more minutes. Sophomore forward Jason Chappell played eight minutes, matching a career high, and grabbed a career-high four rebounds to go with two points.

Freshman center Greg Stiemsma added four points in five minutes, including a final-minute dunk off a behind-the-back assist from fan favorite Tanner Bronson.

The time allowed the starters to catch their breaths and led to what sophomore forward Alando Tucker described as one of the Badgers' most complete games this season.

"Everybody's contributing," Tucker said. "Once again Jason Chappell gets in the game, Greg Stiemsma, we're all able to contribute. When all 13 guys can contribute to the game, it's a complete game."

Morley steps up

Tucker and Wilkinson continued to have solid all-around games, but the Badgers saw some strong play off the bench, especially from behind the arc in the first half.

Senior forward Zach Morley, who struggled against Illinois after sitting out the previous game against Iowa, had a strong game in the first half. Morley connected on two shots from behind the arc and finished the first half with 10 points on his way to 12. It was the first time he scored in double figures in over a month when the Badgers faced Purdue.

"He really stepped up big," Badger coach Bo Ryan said. "He was confident, he had his feet set, got the rhythm back. Zach did well."

Freshman forward Ray Nixon stepped up off the bench with 10 points going perfect from the floor (4 of 4) in 18 minutes of play.

Badgers bounce back

Wisconsin is 6-0 this season following a loss and the team has not lost back-to-back games since February of last year. However, Ryan said he does not hold much value in the statistic, but that a lot the post-loss success is credited to being at home.

"Everything means something," Ryan said. "I think getting back home helps. Our guys have been doing pretty well in here…you take them when you can get them in conference play."

The Badgers have a week off following the victory over Michigan. Wisconsin plays at Michigan State on Feb. 24 before facing Ohio State in Columbus on Feb. 27. Wilkinson said the team is looking forward to resting some lingering injuries.

Jersey change

Forward Andreas Helmigk changed jersey numbers from 21 to 31 Wednesday evening after getting blood on his regular No. 21 jersey.


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