It was no laughing matter for Hughes; it was all business as he did his part to help the Badgers bounce back.
"It was just learning from the last game," said Hughes, who scored 12 points and dished out three assists.
"I have to attack—that's my job," he added. "And one of my jobs is to get my teammates involved and I wasn't doing that … I knew I had to get my teammates ready to go."
UW junior forward Marcus Landry scored a game-high 16 points, with 12 of them coming in the second half when the Badgers broke the game open.
Up by a score of 31-21, Wisconsin came out after halftime and went on an 11-2 run to put the game well in hand.
The Badgers went to the post often with Landry and Brian Butch, simply overpowering the Panthers, whose tallest starting player was just 6-foot-7.
"They're big," said UWM head coach Rob Jeter, who was an assistant coach under Ryan. "They were a tough match-up for us with our size. That's where it really got away from us: they just pounded it inside and just wore us down."
But that wasn't the case for the entire game.
The Panthers hung in the game early, taking a 4-0 lead to start the game. The score was going back-and-forth as both teams were playing rather scrappy at the beginning.
"Each team (was) feeling each other out and then we kind of got some things going," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "I liked the way we finished the half and I liked the way we finished most of the second half."
The Panthers, however, were not able to get their run going after the Badgers ended the first half on a 6-2 run.
"Both teams, I thought in the second half there at the beginning, were trying to get going. They came out with the positives to get their run going and we could never get our's going."
Torre Johnson, UWM's leading scorer this season, scored the game's first four points, but he quickly picked up two fouls.
As Johnson was forced to the bench with foul trouble, the Badgers were able to gain a 10-point lead at halftime and break away in the second.
"I tried to keep him out there as many minutes as he could and pick some spots so that he just didn't sit on the bench and get out of rhythm," Jeter said. "Quite frankly I didn't want the game to try to get away from us and then it ended up happening because in the last two minutes (of the half), I just couldn't chance him (playing)."
While Jeter said he wanted to kick his former coach's butt, Ryan felt otherwise.
"I'm glad it's over," he said. "It's all part of the game, but I'd rather not coach against him. I definitely don't want to play against Robbie."