Wisconsin easily handles rival Milwaukee 74-53
- Article by: ERIC ANDERSON
- Associated Press
- December 23, 2012 - 12:06 AM
MADISON, Wis. - A 10-day break without games seems to have paid dividends for Wisconsin.
Ryan Evans scored a season-high 19 points and Traevon Jackson added a career-best 13 as the Badgers, back in action after taking time off for semester finals, routed Milwaukee 74-53 on Saturday night at the Kohl Center.
Ben Brust opened and closed a 17-1 first-half run with 3-pointers as Wisconsin (8-4) beat its state rival for the 20th consecutive season and improved to 29-1 in the teams' all-time series.
"I think just being able to have more focus on basketball in general is kind of helping me out," Evans said.
The same is true for Jackson, a sophomore who took over as the Badgers' starting point guard six games ago.
"I love break, because this is the closest thing you can get to the (NBA). It's just all basketball," said Jackson, whose father, Jim, played 14 seasons in the NBA after starring at Ohio State.
"It's almost kind of like offseason again, because you have so much time where you can just to the gym. Just taking advantage of that individually and as a team, this is a time when we can really get close together and continue to grow."
On Saturday, the Badgers just kept extending their dvantage.
Milwaukee (3-10) got out to an early 10-8 lead behind Paris Gulley's seven points, but Brust gave the Badgers the lead with his first 3-pointer 6:15 in, and his second put his team up 25-11 with 9:40 left in the first half.
"We've had those scoring droughts ... That's been our problem all season," said Panthers coach Rob Jeter, whose team lost for the ninth time in 10 games despite shooting a season-best 44 percent.
After Jordan Aaron scored on a driving layup — Milwaukee's first basket in nearly 6 minutes — Evans led the way as Wisconsin extended its lead.
He had six straight points and 11 overall as the Badgers closed out the first half with what proved to be a 33-8 surge. Jared Berggren's dunk just 9 seconds into the second half and a jumper by Jackson pushed the advantage to 45-18.
"They just went on a run and we collapsed a little bit," said Gulley, who had a team-high 16 points.
Evans shot 8 for 16 from the floor, matched Berggren for the team lead with seven rebounds and made 3 of 4 free throws — an encouraging sign for the senior, who came in 14 of 44, or 31.8 percent, from the line on the season.
Another bright spot for the home team was the return of Mike Bruesewitz.
The high-energy senior missed the past two games due to a concussion suffered in practice Dec. 6, but was cleared to play and came off the bench at the first timeout. He had a quiet night with eight points and five rebounds in 26 minutes — two of his baskets came in the final 95 seconds.
"A little rough around the edges, which was to be expected," Badgers coach Bo Ryan said of Bruesewitz's return. "I'm glad he got some good, quality minutes in there."
Freshman J.J. Panoske, from nearby Brodhead, hit three 3-pointers and scored a career-high 13 points off the bench for Milwaukee. Aaron, the Panthers' leading scorer at 14.8 points per game, was held to seven on 3-for-13 shooting.
Milwaukee's lone win over Wisconsin came 20 years and 10 days earlier, a 77-72 victory on Dec. 12, 1992.
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