The Badgers (12-7, 5-3) topped the Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-12, 2-6) 82-68 powered by one of their best three-point shooting performances in history. Eight different Badgers contributed to the 18 total made threes, an all-time record, as Wisconsin moved up to T-4th in the conference.
The Badgers started shooting threes early and often in the contest, and their volume perimeter shooting continued all night. They attempted a whopping 34 three-pointers and sunk 18 of them, good for 53% from beyond the arc. Wisconsin opened a narrow, early lead but were able to hold it the entire night.
Nebraska played a very inside-out defense for much of the game and the Badgers moved the ball nicely to shooters to make them pay for it.
“The ball didn’t stick, we didn’t over dribble,” Greg Gard said after the game. “When you move the ball like that, on time and on target, you’re going to shoot it well.”
“They shot the ball obviously at a very high level tonight,” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I thought our rotations, for the most part, were solid. Really we were just a hair late… I was really proud of our effort, we went out there and we battled for 40 minutes.”
To Nebraska’s credit, they were able to stay close to the Badgers throughout the contest, despite the sharp shooting. They erased a nine-point lead in the first half and were down just one point at the break.
The Badgers impressive shooting night, however, intensified in the second half, to historic levels. Two made threes by Brad Davidson, who led the Badgers with 14 points, to start the second second half helped Wisconsin go on a 10-0 run.
More Badger sharp shooting helped further open the lead all the way to 59-42 with 14:30 remaining. Again, however, the Cornhuskers clawed their way back into the game, punishing the Badger defense with drives at the rim. Forward Kevin Cross and guards Cam Mack and Dachon Burke Jr. combined for 51 points and Nebraska poured in 36 points in the paint.
Nonetheless, Wisconsin held on down the stretch, protecting the lead with timely shooting, to win 82-68.
“That’s what Wisconsin does, they’re so good when they get a lead at keeping [it],” Hoiberg said.
Brevin Pritzl and D’Mitrik Trice each made two threes in the final seven minutes of the game. Pritzl’s triple with 1:05 remaining broke Wisconsin’s all time record for team total made threes at 18. The Badgers will look to continue their hot shooting in their next test, which will be at Purdue’s Mackey Complex on Friday.