Cold shooting dooms Wofford against No. 14 Badgers
Wofford coach Mike Young told his players they'd get some great shots against Wisconsin.
Mostly, they got just one each possession - and not many of them went in.
The Terriers shot just 26 percent Saturday night and fell to the No. 14 Badgers 69-33.
''I hope it's not a product of us not being very good shooters,'' Young said, giving the Badgers' defense some credit for his team's shooting woes.
The Badgers (3-0) also struggled with their shooting touch early. But unlike Wofford (1-2), Wisconsin snapped out of it.
Wisconsin came in shooting 52 percent from 3-point range, but the Badgers often settled for outside shots early. Hitting 2 of 9 from behind the arc to start the game, they led just 13-10 midway through the first half before starting to play more of an inside-outside game that helped them pull away.
Josh Gasser hit a 3-pointer to start a 19-2 run that closed the half, and Rob Wilson capped the spurt with another 3. Things started clicking when the Badgers began to do some more damage in the lane.
Drew Crowell's layup just before the buzzer finally ended the scoring drought for the Terriers.
''That zero is what I like seeing,'' Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said of the run. ''Our offense was generating from the defense.''
Kevin Giltner hit a 3 early in the second half that cut Wisconsin's lead to 19, but the Terriers couldn't get any closer.
Giltner and Karl Cochran scored 10 points apiece to lead Wofford, which shot only 20 percent from the field in the first half.
The Terriers never found their stroke, shooting just 26 percent for the game, including 4 of 19 from 3-point range. Leading scorer Brad Loesing shot just 2 of 11, and the Terriers also couldn't match up inside.
Crowell, who started Wofford's first two games at forward, has been sick and came off the bench. He ended up with five points, half his season average, and the Terriers were outrebounded 43-22. Wofford also was outscored in the paint 34-12.
Young said the Badgers simply wore down his young squad, which lost four starters from a team that won the Southern Conference Championship last year and reached the NCAA tournament.
''It's such a grind, such a grind playing the Badgers,'' Young said. ''To be frank, we're just not quite ready to do that with this young bunch.''
The Badgers eventually found their shooting stroke from outside, finishing a respectable 9 of 23 on 3s. While others struggled from the field, Gasser continued his hot shooting hand and finished with 16 points. He hit all four of his 3-pointers and is now 9 of 10 from 3-point range for the season.
Jared Berggren, despite going 1 for 5 from 3-point range, scored 13 points for Wisconsin. Ryan Evans also had 13.
It was a quiet game scoring-wise for Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor. He ranked fourth in the Big Ten last year with 18 points a game, but he scored four points on 2-of-3 shooting to go along with four rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers. He's scored just 24 points in the Badgers' first three games.
But Evans said it was just Jordan trying to make everyone around him better early in the season.
''He's just playing real team ball right now,'' Evans said. ''We know what he can do and what he'll need to do eventually down the line.''
The teams were paired in the first round of the Chicago Invitational Challenge, which includes a second game for each before they head to Hoffman Estates, Ill., next weekend for a pair of games.
Before the game, Wisconsin announced that freshman forward Jarrod Uthoff will redshirt this season.