Milwaukee's Kyle Kelm, center, shoots between Wisconsin's
Frank Kaminsky, left, and Sam Dekker during the first half
of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 11,
in Madison, Wis.
MADISON, Wis. — Leave it to
Bo Ryan to find fault with No. 4 Wisconsin's biggest margin of
victory of the young season or tying its best start in 70 years.
But his players couldn't agree more.
Though Ben Brust scored 18 points and Frank Kaminsky added 16 as
the Badgers remained undefeated with a 78-52 victory over
in-state rival Milwaukee on Wednesday night, Ryan and his
players weren't exactly thrilled with the effort.
Despite its reputation as a disciplined basketball team, the
Badgers committed three straight turnovers after missing their
first shot. Other than Brust, they struggled offensively to open
the game. And they were t 1 of 13 from behind the 3-point line
in the second half.
Still, that might seem a little nitpicky to some considering all
the other things they did well.
"We're going to see a lot in clips tomorrow," Brust promised.
"There's definitely some things that we missed, the bad start.
There's just spots throughout the whole game where we could have
played a better 40 minutes altogether, but a good win. You can't
be mad about that."
This is rarefied air for the Badgers. Going 11-0 to open the
season matches their record to open 1993-94, the program's best
start since 1943. They have also cracked The Associated Press'
top 5 for only the second season with the 2006-07 squad reaching
Not that Ryan is taking any time to really bask in that.
"It's like in class," Ryan said. "You do your assignments and
then you get credit for them, and if you do them well, you get
stars on your paper and a pat on the back. But if you stop doing
them well, then everything else just kind of goes the other
Wisconsin's Josh Gasser, left, and Milwaukee's Austin Arians
battle for a rebound
during the first half.
Though Wisconsin was far from
perfect, it used one run to blow the game open and then
capitalized on repeated mistakes by Milwaukee (9-3) to make sure
the game stayed out of reach.
Early on, only Brust was connecting. But he hit his first six
shots, including four from behind the 3-point line. That was
good enough to help the Badgers open a 22-13 lead more than
midway through the first half even as his teammates opened 3 of
Then the rest of the team found its stroke.
Wisconsin reeled off a 23-7 run that featured five 3-pointers by
five Badgers to blow the game open, and the Badgers finished the
half 9 for 13 from deep.
Sam Dekker and Traevon Jackson scored 12 points apiece for
Milwaukee, meanwhile, couldn't get out of the hole it dug in the
first half, when the Panthers turned the ball over 11 times and
the Badgers turned them into 18 points. Things got marginally
better in the second half, when the Panthers committed another
eight turnovers that resulted in 10 more Wisconsin points. The
19 turnovers tied their season high.
Wisconsin's Ben Brust (1) shoot against Milwaukee's J.J.
Panoskie (23) and Kyle Kelm during the second half.
Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter, a former
assistant to Ryan, said the Panthers were trying to make
"everything happen in one pass, one play."
"We just didn't have the opportunities that we needed to to give
yourself a chance against a Wisconsin team," Jeter said. "Turn
the ball that many times, give up 28 points, that's hard to
overcome when they are shooting the ball the way they did in the
Kyle Kelm scored 17 points to lead the Panthers, while Matt Tiby
Tiby came in as the Panthers' leading scorer, and though he
finished in double figures, the Badgers played him physically
all game. Kaminsky blocked Tiby's first shot and the Milwaukee
forward was 3 for 10 and had six turnovers.
Milwaukee cut the Badgers' lead to 16 points once in the second
half, but that was snuffed out by a quick 10-0 Wisconsin run.
"We knew he's a worker," Ryan said of Tiby. "We know he brings a
lot of fire to the court. He's tenacious. So we just tried to
match that and then some, just tried to make his looks tougher."