Janesville49.2°

Badgers too much for Wofford

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Aaron Brenner/Special to the Gazette
December 4, 2007
— The schedule says the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team plays a couple of top-15 teams in a span of three games.

The No. 23 Badgers lost at No. 7 Duke last Tuesday, and they take on No. 15 Marquette this Saturday at the Kohl Center. But they were more than ready for their lesser-known opponent, Wofford, in overcoming a sluggish start to roll to a routine 70-43 win here Monday night.


“We wanted to roll into Madison under the cover of darkness and play the Badgers,” Wofford coach Mike Young said. “But they made it tough on us. They’re a good team.”


For a few minutes, the Badgers looked almost as ugly as their socks—Wisconsin players wore throwback uniforms from the 1941 national championship team.


The Badgers (6-1) failed to score in the first four minutes and spotted the Terriers (3-2) a 5-0 lead.


At that point, UW coach Bo Ryan took a different approach. He put in his smaller, quicker shooters—Michael Flowers and Jason Bohannon—earlier than usual.


Bohannon delivered, hitting a three to spark an ensuing 13-0 run.


“We were 0-for-5 on our first five possessions,” Ryan said. “I just figured we’ll go small and do some things with the subs, and it worked out OK.”


Wisconsin hadn’t shot well the last couple of times out, with a 36-percent mark against Georgia and Duke. But a week off did the Badgers well, as they shot 47 percent against the Terriers.


“We got some looks inside, got some touches in the paint,” Ryan said. “The closer to the basket, generally the higher the percentage.”


The Badgers claim to be a balanced team offensively, and they showed that against the Terriers. Bohannon led Wisconsin with 14 points, while five others notched at least eight points.


“That’s the way this team is structured this year,” said forward Joe Krabbenhoft, who had 12 points and four assists. “We go into every game thinking that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re all just happy on nights like these.”


The Badgers also took care of business on defense. Wofford had shot better than 50 percent this season, but was limited to 14-of-52 shooting for 26 percent against Wisconsin.


“Our bigs did a great job of hedging because those guards were coming off those screens pretty hard,” Krabbenhoft said. “Guys came in and just wanted to give some help, and did a good job of (forcing bad shots).”


Things got a little more physical than usual two minutes into the second half when Wisconsin’s Greg Stiemsma and Wofford’s Junior Salters got tangled up and ended up in a scuffle.


Wofford had possession of the ball, and Salters ran over Stiemsma. When the two players got tangled up, Salters threw an elbow at Stiemsma on his way down, and the two players had to be separated.


The referees determined Stiemsma had tripped up Salters intentionally, and the Badger center was hit with a technical foul.


“Two kids going at it. They got tangled up. It happens,” Young said. “Not a big deal.”


Now back in the win column, the Badgers can turn their attention to their primary in-state rival, the Marquette Golden Eagles.


“Marquette is very similar to Duke,” forward Marcus Landry said. “If we want to succeed in that game, we have to learn from our mistakes that we had in the Duke game to come out with a win.”


WISCONSIN 70, WOFFORD 43


WOFFORD (43)—Whatley 0-5 0-0 0, Dahlman 2-6 2-6 6, Gibson 5-15 4-4 16, Salters 5-14 1-3 14, Godzinski 1-1 0-2 3, Nixon 0-4 0-0 0, Crowell 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Bellebaum 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 1-4 2-4 4, Martin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 14-52 9-19 43.


Wisconsin (70)—Landry 4-10 3-4 11, Butch 4-10 1-3 9, Stiemsma 1-1 0-0 2, Hughes 2-5 3-4 8, Krabbenhoft 5-8 2-2 12, Bohannon 3-3 6-8 14, Bronson 0-1 0-0 0, Valentyn 0-0 0-0 0, Flowers 3-6 2-4 8, Jarmusz 1-1 0-2 2, Leuer 2-6 0-0 4, Gullikson 0-1 0-0 0, Gavinski 0-1 0-0 0, Nankivil 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-53 17-27 70.


Wofford 20 23--43


Wisconsin 38 32--70


Three-point goals—Wofford 6-16 (Salters 3-9, Gibson 2-4, Godzinski 1-1, Nixon 0-1, Jackson 0-1), Wisconsin 3-13 (Bohannon 2-2, Hughes 1-3, Bronson 0-1, Flowers 0-1, Krabbenhoft 0-1, Landry 0-2, Butch 0-3). Fouled Out—Godzinski. Rebounds—Wofford 34 (Dahlman 9), Wisconsin 41 (Landry 9). Assists—Wofford 9 (Gibson 3), Wisconsin 17 (Flowers, Krabbenhoft 4). Total Fouls—Wofford 27, Wisconsin 18. Technical—Stiemsma.


Attendance—17,190.



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