Just over a week ago, Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin Badgers were 16-0 and ranked in the top-5 of the country with little-to-no resistance from anyone. Now, the Badgers have lost 3 straight games, as they fell victim to Richard Pitino and Minnesota by a final score of 81-68 on Wednesday night.
Wisconsin’s trademark pace and defense let them down in this particular game, as the Gophers were able to shoot 59% from the field and 57% from 3-point range in route to 81 points. Deandre Mathieu and Maurice Walker tied for the team lead with 18 points each for Minnesota, but it was an across-the-board effort, as six players scored 7-or-more points in the game. Shooting prowess wasn’t the only way that Minnesota made their strides in this game, though, as they also dominated on the glass to the tune of a 10-rebound advantage.
The Badgers did receive a very solid, 20-point game from Sam Dekker in this one, but that was the lone bright spot. Minnesota’s defense was up to the challenge of the traditionally disciplined Badgers, holding them to just 44% from the field and 25% from three, and with the Gophers cleaning the glass on every trip, there were no additional opportunities for Bo Ryan’s club.
At 16-3, there is no reason to panic for Wisconsin fans, but any air of invincibility has evaporated in the last 8 days.