Even when it was struggling with its own shot last week,
Wisconsin was still trying to make things as difficult as it could
for opponents offensively.
However, the 14th-ranked Badgers could have a tough time slowing
down Chase Stanback and UNLV on Saturday as they try to win their
44th consecutive home game against an unranked non-conference
Wisconsin avoided a third straight loss with a 70-42 win over
Wisconsin-Green Bay on Wednesday. The Badgers (7-2) held the
Phoenix to 32.1 percent shooting and forced 16 turnovers.
Jordan Taylor had 15 points, a season-high 10 assists and no
turnovers, while Jared Berggren had 13 points, four steals and
three blocked shots.
After shooting 34.2 percent in losses to North Carolina and
Marquette last week, Wisconsin went 12 of 33 (36.4 percent) from
the field in the first half Wednesday before shooting 57.7 percent
after the break. Among the Badgers that continue to struggle, Ben
Brust, averaging 11.2 points, was held to six points on 2-of-8
shooting, while Mike Bruesewitz scored four.
“Shots aren’t falling for some guys right now, but we’ve just
got to keep working, keep getting better every day and it will
come,” Taylor said. “It just comes with staying aggressive.”
While its offense may not be consistent, Wisconsin’s defense
continues to be stout, leading Division I in scoring defense (44.2)
and ranking fourth in field-goal percentage defense (32.9). It has
been particularly tough at home, limiting opponents to 39.8 points
on 29.6 percent shooting.
If the Badgers can’t get their shots to fall, particularly from
beyond the arc, where they are 16 of 64 (21.3 percent) the last
three games, they’ll need their defense to stay aggressive against
UNLV (9-1), which is averaging 83.0 points – 13th in the
The Rebels fell just outside this week’s poll after losing 89-70
to Wichita State on Sunday. They bounced back with a 94-50 rout of
Cal State San Marco, a first-year NAIA program, on Wednesday.
Justin Hawkins had 23 points, seven rebounds and five steals,
while Stanback added 16 points and six boards.
Stanback is having an outstanding senior season. He’s second on
the team with 15.1 points per game, averaging 19.8 in the last four
UNLV is looking for its second win over a ranked team this
season. The Runnin’ Rebels stunned then-top-ranked North Carolina
90-80 on Nov. 26, shooting 13 of 32 from 3-point range.
However, they’ve struggled in their two true road games, losing
to the Shockers while needing double overtime to defeat UC Santa
Barbara 94-88 on Nov. 30.
UNLV has won its last two against Wisconsin, getting 25 points
from Stanback in a 68-65 victory last year. The Badgers won the
only home meeting in 2002.