Badgers overwhelm Panthers in rout

Sam Dekker’s ankle looked just fine Wednesday night as he led the Badgers to an easy 93-54 win over Milwaukee at Panther Arena.

Dekker finished the game with 17 points scoring from the post, the three-point arc and on one ferocious dunk. The number one ranked player in the nation, Frank Kaminsky, also had a productive night finishing with 18 points.

It would’ve been hard if not impossible to find someone who actually thought the Panthers were going to win, but fans were hoping for at least a competitive game. That sure didn’t happen as the Badgers took control right from the tip-off and didn’t back off until the final buzzer.

The Panthers tried just about everything defensively but just couldn’t string together enough stops to give themselves a chance to compete. The Badgers ended the night shooting an impressive 39-64 (61%).

“It was nice to see the ball go through the net, we made some shots today that we weren’t hitting Saturday,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. “Good ball movement, I thought our guys really shared the ball well tonight and it’s nice to get on the road and get one.”

Wisconsin took an early 8-0 lead but Milwaukee came out of the first media time-out with a quick 7-0 run of their own. It was at that point when Dekker took over, ending the speculations about his injury being a serious problem.

“I’m feeling pretty good now,” Dekker said. “I practiced pretty well the past few days and I’m ready to keep it going now.”

The junior forward scored 12 out of the 17 Badger points that extended their lead to 25-14. The run by Dekker was capped off by a spectacular alley-oop dunk that brought all fans in attendance to their feet.

Milwaukee started the game off in a man-to-man defense, but switched to a 2-3 zone about mid way through the second half. After a few possessions down where the Badgers were able to score easy baskets, they were forced to go back to the way they started.

“We played a little zone, we played man, we did a little of everything,” Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. “We just never really made them uncomfortable.”

The Badgers were coming off an ugly win against Marquette where they ended the game shooting only 33 percent.  That stat alone made Jeter fearful of what could happen before the game even started.

“It’s what you worry about as a coach, when you see a team struggle as much as Wisconsin did their last game out, you just hope you aren’t the next team they have to play when it all comes together.” Jeter said.

On the offensive end, Milwaukee struggled the entire 40 minutes against the length and height of Wisconsin. The team finished shooting 18 for 52 (35 percent).

If there was one bright spot to tonight’s game for Milwaukee, it may have been the play of junior Matt Tiby, who finished the game with 17 points and five rebounds.

After a night where his team gave up 93 points, Jeter knows his team has a lot of things to work on.

“The lesson for us is change, we’ve got to change,” Jeter said. “We’ve got to get better.”

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