Led for the second straight game by junior point guard Trevon Hughes, the Badgers shot 49 percent from the field (18 percentage points better than Friday night) and got at least eight points from five different sources, cruising in the second half to a 64-49 victory over San Diego at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports & Fitness Center.
Wisconsin (4-0) will now face No.2 Connecticut (4-0) in the Paradise Jam finals Monday night at 7:30 p.m. Central.
"We're not going to treat it like we're playing anybody other than the next opponent," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "I know the number-two team Connecticut is very good, very big, very quick. I was going to say it's kind of like looking like my golf game, you can't find any weaknesses in that.
"We're going to try to find some against Connecticut because they are so dominant inside. It's going to be tough getting stuff inside, but that's why they play the game so we have to figure out a way."
After scoring the majority of his points from the free throw line against Iona, Hughes seemingly couldn't miss from the floor Sunday night, as he shot 8-for-11 from the floor and made all four of his free throw attempts.
The contributions did not just come from Hughes, as plenty of Badgers filled up the stat sheet. Wisconsin got 10 points from sophomore Keaton Nankivil, a career-high tying eight points from sophomore Tim Jarmusz and a well-rounded performance by senior Marcus Landry, who finished with nine points, seven rebounds, six assists and a career-best five blocks.
"Marcus was huge," Ryan said. "He guarded guys bigger than him rebounding wise and made some pretty good passes too."
After shooting 34 foul shots in the opening round, Wisconsin, who led 26-20 at halftime, continued to more aggressive than its opponent, getting to the free throw line 23 times, making 17, while San Diego only went 5-for-7 from the line.
The Badgers out rebounded San Diego (2-2) 34-29, blocked 10 shots and had 11 assists to 12 turnovers, although the Badgers turned the ball over only three times in the second half. More importantly, Wisconsin's defense was on from the start, limiting San Diego to 35 percent shooting.
"That's not something we're really looking to do all the time," Ryan said of the blocked shots. "A couple of times, they were a little out of control and their shots were flat. We took advantage of what presented itself defensively. We took a few charges and tried to make them take some tough shots. They didn't shoot a good percentage and they didn't shoot a lot of free throws, so that is good for us."
Connecticut Dominates Hurricanes
"It's not about me hitting the first shot or the last shot," Thabeet said. "I give credit to my teammates and my coaches for executing the plays."
Senior guard A.J. Price added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Huskies (4-0), who limited Miami to just 35.3 percent shooting. Connecticut never trailed and led by as many as 19 points.