The Badgers shot 49 percent, which would usually lead to an easy win. Today? No such luck. Jon Leuer got things going early and ended up with 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Jason Bohannon finally showed up, netting 18, and Ryan Evans showed some flashes of a polished offensive game with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Wisconsin couldn't get hot for a long stretch, though, and couldn't keep up with the barrage of buckets from Cornell. Wisconsin attempted 10 more three-pointers, but managed to make only eight, equaling the Big Red's total. Trevon Hughes played a sloppy game, turning the ball over six times. Some of the turnovers looked due to downright laziness on the part of the Badger point guard and team leader.
You have to hand it to Cornell, as the Big Red seemingly could make just about anything they put up. Still, the lack of effort on the boards (giving Cornell back 26 percent of its missed shots) and the stupid fouls (I'm looking at you Keaton) were just as much a part of the loss as the hot shooting by Cornell. Add that to the bull-fighter defense on Louis Dales drives into the paint and the inability to get in the face of shooters on a lot of shots early, and you have a big fat F on your hands.
At some point, you have to bring a slumping team's performance back to the head coach. Cornell was able to play its game and forced the Badgers to adapt, something Bo Ryan's teams seldom have to do. Some of the calls, especially on loose balls after rebounds, were a little suspect (and led to Bo having to ad lib with Nankivil, Hughes, and Taylor all in early foul trouble). Bo's backup plan failed pretty miserably. Cornell never had a cold stretch and never had to change their play. On top of all that, Coach Ryan ended up with a technical foul that up the first nail in the coffin. One day was not enough time to counter Cornell, who consistently forced UW into very tough situations.
Game MVP: Jon Leuer. Where would the Badgers have been in the first half without Leuer? The junior brings a little momentum into the offseason with two twenty-plus point performances in the tournament. Honorable mention goes to Bohannon for finally finding his shot and putting down what I think may have been the only dunk of his Badger career.