Wisconsin got six players in double figures scoring on its way to a convincing 77-61 victory over Marquette in a battle of in-state rivals, known as the I-94 rivalry, this afternoon at the Kohl Center.
Brevin Pritzl has had some big scoring games in his career as well as some big rebounding games, but never in the same game did he have both. That was until he did it today against the Golden Eagles. Pritzl was a beast, scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Six of those rebounds came on the offensive end, helping UW get 14 second-chance points on the day.
“Brevin’s ability to defend and really rebound got him feeling really good about himself,” UW head coach Greg Gard said. “Then, obviously, he was able to make shots.”
Pritzl was 3-for-4 from three-point range and 4-for-6 overall.
I thought Wisconsin played pretty good defense on MU All-American Markus Howard in the first half, but Howard was able to hit some tough shots on his way to 6-of-12 shooting for 16 points in the first 20 minutes. But the UW defense turned it up after the break. Howard was 0-for-9 shooting in the second half and his only points came on two free throws.
Juniors D’Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison were the ones called to guarding Howard each time down the floor, but they credit the help they got in slowing down the senior.
“It was a team effort. We know he’s a great, great scorer. He’s one of the best in college basketball, so we knew it was going to take all of us talking and locking in on defense,” Trice said. “Definitely shutting him down and holding him to 6-for-21 is obviously a big accomplishment.”
The one negative from today’s game for the Badgers was the foul trouble. For the second straight game, UW was in foul trouble. Tyler Wahl played just six minutes because he picked up four fouls. Aleem Ford was limited to 27 minutes, including only 10 in the second half due to foul trouble. Without having Micah Potter available right now, the front court has to be more aware and less aggressive.
Another bright side as it’s been every game so far, UW was 18-for-20 at the free throw line. So far this year, the Badgers are shooting 81.7 percent at the line. Last season, the Badgers shot 64.8 percent as a team, again that number is a little skewed since Ethan Happ and Khalil Iverson shot the most free throws on the team and both players lacked consistent success/mediocrity there.
Today’s win marked the 300th win for UW at the Kohl Center. Their record since the building opened in 1998 is 300-51.
Coach Greg Gard said after the game that the teleconference hearing for Micah Potter with the NCAA will take place on Thursday.
In a very classy move, Marquette’s Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski took time at the end of his press conference to address the tragedy involving UW assistant Howard Moore that rocked the UW basketball program and UW community during the offseason:
Wisconsin (3-1) will host UW-Green Bay (1-2) on Thursday at the Kohl Center. Tip-off is set for 8:00 pm (CT) and will be aired on Big Ten Network.