March 29, 2015

Badgers rally to beat UNC, advance to Elite 8 for second straight year

Sam Dekker

Sam Dekker

It required a second half rally, contributions from a two unexpected bench players, and a career night for a rising star to push the Wisconsin Badgers past North Carolina, 79-72, and into the NCAA Tournament’s Elite 8 for a second consecutive year.

Junior Sam Dekker scored a career-best 23 points (10-for-15) to go along with ten rebounds, while Zak Showalter and Traevon Jackson combined for ten points off the bench in the Badgers third Sweet 16 win under coach Bo Ryan. Jackson was playing in his first game after missing 19 games with a broken foot. The senior hit his first shot of the game, a three-pointer from the corner in the first half.

The top seed in the West Region fell behind early and trailed by as much as seven in the second half against the fourth-seeded Tar Heels, but a 19-7 run put the Badgers in front for good. The run included a three-pointer by Frank Kaminsky and four consecutive points from Showalter. [Read more…]

Badgers withstand Oregon run to advance to Sweet 16

Sam Dekker

Sam Dekker

The top-seeded Wisconsin Badgers are moving on to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the seventh time under Bo Ryan after beating eighth-seeded Oregon 72-65 in a West Region 3rd Round game in Omaha, Neb.

Wisconsin’s frontline of Sam Dekker (17), Frank Kaminsky (16), and Nigel Hayes (14) combined for 47 points; however, the real surprise was redshirt sophomore Zak Showalter scoring five points and grabbing a career-high five rebounds off the bench.

The Badgers built an 11-point first half lead, which dwindled down to three by halftime. Oregon’s pursuit continued in the second half as the Ducks eventually tied the game at 52 with just under six minutes remaining. Wisconsin answered with a quick 6-0, and finished the game by outscoring the Ducks 20-13. [Read more…]

Badgers cruise to opening round NCAA win

Nigel Hayes

Nigel Hayes

The 3rd-ranked Wisconsin Badgers moved into the round of 32 by cruising to a 86-72 win over Coastal Carolina in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Omaha, Nebraska on Friday night.

Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes combined to scored 38 points on 15 of 25 shooting to help the Badgers build a 15-point lead at halftime (47-32).  The trio finished with 62 points on 24 of 41 shooting.

Kaminsky led the way with 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Sam Dekker came out of his 3-point shooting slump, hitting 4 of 8 from distance to finish with 20 points for the game.  Nigel Hayes added 15 points and eight rebounds with seven of the eight boards on the offensive end. [Read more…]

Badgers winless streak against the Gophers stretches to 18-games

DSCF0430The 4th-seeded Wisconsin Badger women’s hockey team outshot Minnesota 35-23, but it was the Gophers that got the final say with a 3-1 win in the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals at Ridder Arena.

The top seeded Gophers extended their unbeaten string against the Badgers to 18-straight games and knocked Wisconsin out of the Frozen Four semifinal game for the second straight season.

UW freshman Annie Pankowski scored the Badgers’ (29-7-4) lone goal of the game 52 second into the second period and gave Wisconsin a 1-0 lead.  It marked her 21st goal of the season and 43rd point, both team highs.  Pankowski became the first freshman since Sara Bauer during the 2003-04 season to lead UW in goals and points.

Minnesota answered with three straight goals to close out the scoring in the second period and the game.  Maryanne Menefee tipped in a Megan Wolfe shot for the game winner.

Wisconsin ended the season with a NCAA record .958 penalty kill conversion rate, killing 113 of its opponents 118 power plays.  the .958 clip bested the previous record of .957, set by Harvard during the 2003-04 season.

Badger women’s hockey team looking to end drought

Ann-Renee Desbiens

Ann-Renee Desbiens

The Wisconsin Badgers face off against the rival Minnesota Gophers tonight in the women’s Frozen Four semifinals at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.  The Badgers will be trying not only to get into the Frozen Four championship game, but they’ll be trying to end a 17-game winless streak against the Gophers, dating back to 2011.

The Frozen Four berth is the eighth in the last ten seasons for the Badgers (29-6-4), which is ranked 3rd in the country but seeded fourth in the NCAA field.  The Badgers are shooting for their fifth Frozen Four title.

Minnesota beat the Badgers in last season’s semifinals but lost in the championship game to Clarkson.

The Badgers advanced to the Frozen Four with a 5-1 victory over Boston University in the quarterfinals last weekend. [Read more…]