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NCAA Basketball Big 10 BasketballWisconsin Badgers

Defense Key In Wisconsin Badgers’ Victory Over Cal

Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

After coming off of a 60-54 loss to Virginia, Bo Ryan definitely shored some things up in practice before the Wisconsin Badgers took on California today.

A 50 percent shooting percentage for the Badgers helped them pull of the 81-56 win over the Bears who had a 6-0 record coming into the game.

After a poor rebounding effort against Virginia, the Badgers came out and made sure to dominate the Bears on the boards today, limiting their second chance opportunities and winning the battle of the boards throughout the game.

The Badgers went on a 14-0 run after the first media time out to climb to an early lead against the Bears.  It wasn’t anyone on the basketball team that sparked that run, but instead it was the football team.

Head football coach Bret Bielema and running backs Montee Ball, James White and Melvin Gordon were announced during a time out and showed off their Big Ten Tournament trophy.  This got the crowd loud and on their feet, giving Ryan and his squad some energy.

The Badgers had four players in double digit scoring lead by guard Ben Brust who had 22 points.

But defense was the key for the Badgers today.  In recent games, they have struggled to stop penetration and have had to rely on offense instead of defense to win games.

Today, they returned to Bo Ryan’s principles and held the Bears to a season low 56 points.  Defense is going to make all the difference for this Badger team this season.  They cannot try and win games by outscoring people; instead they need to be able to dictate the game with their defense.

The defensive effort shown by Wisconsin today was impressive, but they need to do that consistently if they want a chance at competing in the Big Ten.