Duke roughs up Badgers
None of the Wisconsin Badgers actually asked for divine intervention Tuesday night, although no one would have blamed them if they had.
After starting the college men’s basketball season with a 5-0 mark that vaulted them to the No. 20 ranking, the Badgers were thumped by Duke, 82-58, on Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The outcome should remind everyone that UW is still far from a finished product.
Over and over, the Badgers were beaten in transition and off the dribble. And they fueled the Duke fast break and charged-up crowd with 18 turnovers, 10 in the first half when they fell into a 23-point hole that everyone in the building knew was all but insurmountable.
And then there were the three-pointers. Duke had nine in the first half and 11 overall.
“We could not play a game where we’re going to muscle them inside otherwise we would have gotten killed. They’re so efficient,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “So we had to try to make it more of a perimeter game and we were able to do that a lot.”
Sophomore guard Trevon Hughes and freshman forward Jon Leuer, one of the bright spots for the Badgers, scored 12 points each although both players did most of their damage after the game was out of reach.
Wisconsin’s chances for an upset took a hit when Hughes picked up his second foul 42 minutes into the game and went to the bench. UW trailed, 10-7, at the time and were able to cut the deficit to a point before his absence began to show against a team that used full-court pressure and switched from man to zone in the half court.
When Ryan was forced to put Hughes back into the game 4 minute later, the Badgers were down, 25-14.
Junior guard Greg Paulus scored 18 points, including 4 for 7 from three-point range. He capped the early run with back-to-back three-pointers, the second after UW turned the ball over trying to inbound it.
The rout was about to be on.
“If anything could go wrong it did,” UW coach Bo Ryan said. “We dug ourselves a hole. In the second half things looked kind of even but when you’re playing down in a hole like that it’s almost impossible to play like there is a comeback.”
Duke had almost as many threes (nine) as UW had baskets (10) in the first half and was hitting at a rate of 56.3 percent. The Badgers also turned the ball over nine times in the half, which led to 14 Duke points.
The lead slowly grew from there.
Freshman Taylor King’s three off another turnover pushed the lead to 15 with 7 minutes 34 seconds left. Sophomore Gerald Henderson’s free throw raised the advantage to 20, 41-21, with 4:44 left.
A transition three-pointer by King, his fourth of the half, raised the lead to 46-23 with 22 minutes left.
The lowlight of the half came with 1:04 to play when Henderson sank two free throws to give Duke a 48-23 lead and allowed fans to taunt the Badgers with chants of “More than double.”
Senior forward Brian Butch added 11 points, all in the first half for the Badgers, who shot 36.9 percent overall and were 3 for 14 from three-point range.
Duke finished the night hitting 42.6 percent of its shots and despite two for eight shooting in the second half still shot 45.8 percent in the second half.
The Blue Devils had 23 second-chance points and 17 fast break points, categories UW had previously dominated.
Coach Bo Ryan will have plenty of teaching points from this one.
“They’re going to be very good,” Krzyzewski said. “It ended up being our kind of game tonight but we’re not that much better than them if we are better than them.”