The Badgers jumped out to an early lead behind the strong play of junior power forward Jon Leuer. Wisconsin fed the ball to Leuer right from the start and the big man responded with 16 first-half points. The Badgers did not shoot particularly well from the field and were able to offset sluggish performances by senior guards Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon by getting to the free throw line 33 times. At the line, Wisconsin made only 22 of its 33 free throw attempts but nevertheless made more free throws than Marquette attempted, a staple of Bo Ryan coached teams. Additionally, despite not always being in sync on the offensive end, the Badgers were able to limit their turnovers to only seven. Lastly, Jordan Taylor provided a calming influence off the bench and hit some big shots in the second half en route to 13 points.
Defense – B+
The Badgers played great defense out of the gate and were able to force Marquette into rushing its shots early in the game. Wisconsin was able to stymie Marquette's transition game and held the Golden Eagles to only three fast-break points. Keeping Marquette from getting out in the open court and playing solid defense on both Lazar Hayward and Jimmy Butler allowed the Badgers to stay in control of the game's tempo. Hayward ended up scoring 21 points but needed 21 shots do so and was inconsistent throughout the contest. The one area of concern was the 12 offensive rebounds the undersized Golden Eagles were able to pull down. Wisconsin cannot afford to be beat to loose balls and out hustled by teams once conference play begins.
Coaching – B+
Bo Ryan did a great job preparing his players for the excitement surrounding the rivalry between Marquette and Wisconsin. The Badgers came out with confidence and poise and were able to dictate the tempo from the tip. Ryan had his team continually pound the ball into the paint and emphasized taking advantage of the Badgers superior height. The one area that will need improvement is the quality of possessions the Badgers have when maintaining a lead late in a game.
Game MVP: Jon Leuer. Leuer dominated the paint from throughout the game and used his superior height and agility to continually score from the post.