Men’s basketball: Wisconsin cruises to second-straight win over Temple 76-60

first_imgGood things come in bunches, and that was very much the case for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team Saturday during its 76-60 win over Temple at the Kohl Center.The Badgers showed up on both ends of the floor on their way to a second-straight victory.Wisconsin junior forward Nigel Hayes dominated the offensive halfcourt during the second half, scoring 13 of his 18 points in the final 20 minutes. He also had a game-high 12 rebounds. All of Hayes’ points came from in the paint or at the free throw line.Against a smaller Temple team, Hayes said he was “just trying to take advantage of [his] height and size on the inside.”Hayes was also pivotal on the defensive end, holding the Owls’ leading scorer, Quenton DeCosey, who came into the game averaging 15.5 points per game.Other than Hayes’ dominance, two key runs — one in the first half and one in the second half — built large leads for Wisconsin and kept Temple at a distance for the majority of the game.Early in the second half, Temple cut into the Badgers lead and found itself down by five at 39-34. That’s when UW kicked off its second clutch run of the game, this time 13-0, to go up 52-34 before Temple called timeout with 13:18 remaining in the game.Hayes scored six points on the run, with all of those coming inside the paint. Redshirt junior guard Zak Showalter (11 points) had five during the stretch, including a big three from the far left corner.On its way to erecting a healthy lead midway through the first half, UW received key contributions from its youthful bench. Freshman Alex Illikainen provided key scoring inside. Fellow freshman big man Charlie Thomas induced a standing ovation from the crowd when he knocked down his first career three-pointer with 5:23 left in the half.Thomas’ three capped off the 24-4 run, which put UW up 30-12 and put the game out of reach early. At that point, the freshmen players accounted for 18 of those points. Illikainen, Thomas and Ethan Happ had six apiece. Junior guard Bronson Koenig (17 points) had two key threes during that span.Happ and Thomas finished with nine points each, and UW head coach Bo Ryan was pleased with their contributions.“Those guys were doing a nice job, especially with two guys sitting on the bench with two fouls,” Ryan said. “They were opportunistic.”Temple head coach Fran Dunphy employed a 1-2-2 full court press to deter the scoring barrage and his team’s offense got going.Temple eventually cut it to an eight-point deficit late in the first half. UW carried a 37-26 lead into halftime, forcing Temple to shoot just 37 percent from the floor. Jaylen Bond led the Owls in points (12) and rebounds (10).UW’s defense picked up right where it left off against Syracuse. It allowed only 58 points to the Orange on Wednesday night, and followed it with just 60 against Temple.“I thought they showed the requisite toughness that they needed and we needed to be a little tougher than we were,” Dunphy said.The Badgers also committed only seven turnovers, just three days after coughing it up 20 times at Syracuse.Wisconsin was efficient from three-point range, making six of its 11 shots from behind the arc, while Temple shot just 35 percent (7-for-20) from three.last_img

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