The Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) were without their best player Johnny Davis as well as Jahcobi Neath tonight in a 63-58 loss to the Providence Friars (3-0) at the Kohl Center.
UW finished the first half 1-for-11 from the field and battled foul trouble in the first half and a few defensive breakdowns let Providence finish the first half on a 20-5 run to make it a 34-23 deficit at the break.
I loved the way UW competed and fought in the second half, but the brutal finish to the first half was too much to overcome on top of a poor shooting night.
Say what you will, but this UW team will not quit. This Wisconsin team will be just fine this year and they will make it to the NCAA Tournament.
The problem tonight, and even at times in the first two games, was some of the young inexperienced Badgers are lacking confidence with the ball and had a deer in the headlights look to them. A lot of guys were waiting on Brad Davison or Tyler Wahl to make a play.
UW was a brutal 20-of-61 (32.8%) from the field, an even worse 5-of-27 (18.5%) from 3-point range and 13-of-17 (76.5%) from the free throw line. The one thing the offense did well was they only committed seven turnovers.
With those shooting numbers, the foul trouble in the first half and playing without Johnny Davis or Neath, only losing by five points is kind of impressive.
A healthy lineup and I’m confident Wisconsin wins this game.
Wisconsin defensively had a tough time containing Nate Watson who was 11-of-15 from the field and 24 points. The rest of the Providence team was 11-of-39 (28.2%).
Wisconsin will have the rest of the week off before traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada to play in the Maui Invitational.
UW opens the Maui Invitational on Monday, November 22nd, where they’ll play the Texas A&M Aggies (3-0). Tipoff is set for 1:00 PM (Central Time) and will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.