Just three days after the Badgers laid a huge egg in Green Bay and lost to the UW-Green Bay Phoenix for the first time in 16 games, Wisconsin rebounded to beat Marquette 72-63 at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Against Green Bay, the Badgers appeared flat and legendary coach Bo Ryan was simply out coached in the Wednesday loss. Instead of the Badgers imposing their will on the much smaller Phoenix, Ryan decided to go small to play with Green Bay’s smaller, quicker lineup and played right into the Phoenix’ hands.
Marquette is similar to Green Bay, smaller but quicker, but this time, Ryan got another strong performance from Jon Leuer and he gave big man Keaton Nankivil more minutes and the Badgers controlled the game most of the way, giving their coach his 200th career win with the Badgers.
Unlike last Wednesday, the Badgers were sharp right out of the gates and built a 10-point lead with less than 5-minutes gone in the first half. The Badgers led by as many as 17 in the first half and Marquette missed 13 of its first 17 shots.
Leuer was outstanding again for the Badgers, scoring 24 points and pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds.
After Marquette made a run late, the Badgers put the game away in the final two minutes by hitting 7 of 10 free throws. The Badgers were also very good with the basketball, committing just 7 turnovers. Marquette’s opponents had been averaging more than 17 a game.
Lazar Hayward scored 21 points to lead Marquette. Wisconsin improved to 9-2 with the win. Marquette is 7-3.