The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team defeated No. 24 Virginia Cavaliers 65-41 in Fort Myers, Florida behind Steven Crowl’s 15-point double-double.
Wisconsin came into Fort Myers after a commanding win over Robert Morris at home Friday. The Badgers felt comfortable in their matchup against the Cavaliers — Wisconsin fans filled the stands for what was supposed to be a neutral stadium and made it into what felt like a Badgers’ home game.
Defense proved paramount in a game where each team totaled less than 30 shot attempts from the field.
Virginia could not stop Wisconsin’s paint presence and forwards. However, as Crowl towered over the Cavaliers defenders, his height allowed him to get easy shots at the rim. He finished the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds, four of which were offensive.
The Badgers’ Tyler Wahl dominated the glass along with Crowl. He grabbed 10 rebounds just like his front-court duo partner but, unlike Crowl, used his quickness and evasiveness to sneak by the Cavaliers defenders and had seven offensive rebounds.
Wisconsin’s second-chance opportunities and defensive scheme allowed them to take a 10-point lead at the half and they held Virginia to just 18 points.
In the second half, Virginia cut the Badgers’ lead to five and Wisconsin responded with an 11-0 run and ran with the lead after that.
Badgers guard John Blackwell provided essential bench scoring for Wisconsin. He finished the game with 10 points and made two of his three three-point attempts — an area the Badgers looked to improve on as a whole coming into the matchup.
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett had positive feedback about Wisconsin’s offensive firepower and overall experience.
“They certainly have a lot of offense and they’ve played together a lot, and you can see that,” Bennett said in a postgame press conference.
The Badgers move to 3-2 on the season and play Southern Methodist University in their second and final game of the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Wednesday.