Game Day Grades: Cornell

Jared Berggren (Moebius/12)

MADISON - Bouncing back from its first loss of the season, No.22 Wisconsin got three players in double figures, two of whom recorded a double-double, in a 73-40 victory over Cornell. Badger Nation hands out the grades.

Offense: C

The Badgers had two players to record double-doubles with junior Ben Brust and senior Ryan Evans achieving the feat. Brust tied Jared Berggren with 18 points and had a career-high 12 rebounds, giving him his second double-double in three games. Evans had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his third career double-double.

Wisconsin shot the ball well in the first half - going 16-for 32 from the floor – but the shooting percentage dipped dramatically in the second half down to 31.4 percent (11-35). The Badgers finished the game 27-for-67 (40.3 percent).

Wisconsin only got 13 points off the bench against Cornell. Traevon Jackson chipped in with six points on 3 of 7 shooting and Sam Dekker contributed with seven points.

Dekker played well offensively and once again entered the game looking to attack the rim. While he couldn't always convert, he seemed to be around the rim to see if he could get a put back. It's good to see Dekker be active and try and help keep plays alive, especially with his steal and coast-to-coast one-handed slam.

The Badgers had an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers, including a team-high four from Evans, but Cornell did a good job of trapping and forcing UW to pass in double coverage. The Badgers have to learn from tonight, as well as from Florida this past Wednesday, on how to handle the press.

Berggren had an impressive first half - scoring 16 of his 18 points – and used his size advantage with the majority of his points coming in the paint. Berggren had his way and the Big Red simply had no answer for him. Overall the Badgers finished with 32 points in the paint.

Defense: B

Wisconsin did a great job of containing Cornell and making life hard for them to get easy baskets. Cornell was able to make its first basket of the game, but Wisconsin didn't allow the Big Red to score again until the 12:16 mark in the first half. Forcing the Big Red into tough shots, Cornell shot 16 of 61 (26.2 percent) from the floor.

Wisconsin forced Cornell into 18 turnovers, which the Badgers converted into 17 points. Everybody showed active hands on defense and Wisconsin was able to steal the basketball away 10 times.

Wisconsin was able to contest the majority shots Cornell took. The Badgers were able to block nine shots. Berggren led the way with four blocks and Evans had three.

Despite having the size advantage, the Badgers didn't do that great of a job protecting the paint - giving up 26 points down low. Cornell was able to get 11 offensive rebounds, but could only convert the second opportunities into six points.

Devin Cherry was the only player for Cornell to score in double figures; he had 13 points on 6-13 shooting. Cherry also coughed the basketball up four times in the game.

Overall: B

Wisconsin played a lot better in the first half than they did in the second, as Cornell did do a better job defensively in the second half to slow the Badgers down.

Despite Evans recording a double-double in the game, I thought Evans could have played better. He struggled to get his shot going (only two first half points) and his four turnovers could have been avoided. On one of his turnovers, he attempted an alley-opp to Zak Showalter. The pass sailed through Showalter's hands and Evans was pulled. Evans needs to be smarter with the basketball.

I thought Showalter played well in his seven minutes of action. There was one play in particular that Ryan will be pleased with from Showalter - trapping his man near half court and was poke the basketball away from him. After he picked up the loose ball, he was able to find an open Brust for an easy two points.

After shooting poorly from the free throw line against the Gators, the Badgers were able to redeem themselves with a 13-for-14 performance Sunday.

Wisconsin did a really good job of attacking the glass and pulling down 54 rebounds. Eighteen of them being offensive rebounds, Wisconsin was able to get 12 points off of their second chance opportunities.

Game MVP: Brust. Brust's 18 points on 6-for 13 shooting and 12 rebounds were a huge lift to Wisconsin. Most importantly Brust did a good job of taking care of the basketball only turning it over once and he had four assists in the game.

Brust looked for ways to attack the rim and knocked down two of his four three-point attempts. Brust has his shot fake working because both of his made three-pointers resulted in him using a simple shot fake to get his defender up in the air. Brust helped Wisconsin get out to an early lead and has been playing well so far, an important necessity with Josh Gasser being out for the year.

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