Sports

Despite ugly game against Michigan State, the Badgers still carry momentum into Tuesday night

Kobe King flies in for the dunk against Big Ten foe Indiana in December.
Kobe King flies in for the dunk against Big Ten foe Indiana in December. Image By: Taylor Wolfram

Wisconsin (4-3 Big Ten, 11-7 overall) looks to advance its winning streak over Nebraska (2-5 Big Ten, 7-11 overall) when the Cornhuskers travel to the Kohl Center Tuesday night. The Badgers are currently 16-14 all-time against Nebraska, but have won 10 of the last 14 matchups. 

The Badgers have stirred up a lot of excitement recently after a three-game road win streak against ranked teams including No. 5 Ohio State (2-5 Big Ten, 12-6 overall), but it was unfortunately cut short after a loss to No. 15 Michigan State (2-4 Big Ten, 11-6 overall) on the road, 55-67. Wisconsin also beat No. 20 Penn State (3-4 Big Ten, 13-5 overall) and No. 17 Maryland (4-3 Big Ten, 14-4 overall) during the streak, with junior forward Nate Reuvers and sophomore guard Kobe King leading the way. Reuvers has established himself as the main offensive outlet for the Badgers as he averages 14.2 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. Following close behind is King who averages 10.6 points a game, and has the fourth-best shooting percentage from the floor in the Big Ten. 

Another player who has emerged as a reliable scoring outlet — and leader on the court — is redshirt junior guard Micah Potter, who has averaged 9.4 points a game through the eight games he has played thus far. Potter was previously suspended 10 games by the NCAA for transferring to Wisconsin, despite having sat out his sophomore season at Ohio State with the intent to transfer.

However, Potter was quiet against Michigan State, scoring only four points, but he was not the only one who had trouble finding his shot. The Badgers shot only 21.1 percent from behind the arc, a major contributor to the tough loss. Reuvers was the star of the game with 19 points, which included 3 of Wisconsin’s 4 three-pointers, as well as 10 rebounds. King also made an impact with 10 points. 

Looking now to Nebraska, the Cornhuskers find themselves in a three-game losing streak, most recently losing to Indiana. Nebraska fell 74-82, led by the team’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Cam Mack, who put up a near double-double of 20 points and 9 assists. Junior guard Thorir Thorbjarnarson also had 13 points and nine rebounds in the contest, but those efforts came up short. 

Mack is clearly the Cornhuskers' go-to player on offense, as he has the best ability to score and move the ball on the team. Mack averages nearly 13 points per game and has already dished out 123 assists this season.

One advantage Wisconsin has against Nebraska is its depth in the paint. Reuvers leads in both points, rebounds and the ability to block tough shots, but he must establish a good position in the post against Nebraska’s freshman forward Yvan Ouedraogo. While Ouedraogo averages only a couple points a game, he leads the team in rebounds and will be the one to challenge Reuvers down low. 

Additionally — though it has been said many times already this year — it is crucial for Wisconsin to find its offense against Nebraska, whether it comes from behind the arc or in the paint. If the outside shot does not fall, the team must adjust and find other ways to get its offense going. 

Currently, the Badgers are shooting 43 percent from the field, while Nebraska sits close with 41.7 percent, but if Wisconsin shoots like it did against the Spartans they could find themselves in trouble at home.  

Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. Tuesday night at the Kohl Center. 

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