Wisconsin was able to outlast in-state rival Marquette 70-64 on Saturday at the packed Kohl Center because they have more firepower.
Although the No. 8 Badgers (10-0) and Golden Eagles (5-4) differ in the standings by a few games, they can both really defend and limit opportunities for their opponents to get good looks, but the stark contrast in the two comes in Wisconsin’s offensive firepower.
This isn’t the Bo Ryan basketball of methodical pace and layups.
This year’s Badgers have a lineup full of shot-makers and with the emergence of Frank Kaminsky at center, the steady guard-play of veterans Traevon Jackson, Josh Gasser and Ben Brust and the overall play of sophomore forward Sam Dekker, this Wisconsin team can really put up points.
Dekker had 20 points, 10 rebounds and a memorable dunk down the lane against Marquette and his ability to score in any way possible makes Wisconsin particularly lethal. This Wisconsin group can not only defend, they can score with the best of them now.
Marquette struggled to generate consistent offense once again and although the score is close, Jamil Wilson got hot from the perimeter late and Juan Anderson and Devante Gardner also hit tough contested perimeter jumpers after the offense struggled much of the day.
Without Todd Mayo, who was sitting out due to a violation of team rules, the Golden Eagles had a hard time finding a go-to player that could create a shot and score or get to the line.
Buzz Williams and Marquette deserve credit for staying in the game, but they need someone to step in and become the leader on offense.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.