Wisconsin Badgers Dominate Virginia Cavaliers in 65-41 Victory
The Wisconsin Badgers made a statement on Monday with a commanding 65-41 win over the No. 24 Virginia Cavaliers, improving their season record to 3-2. This victory marked their first Quad 1 win after suffering losses to Tennessee and Providence.
Wisconsin showcased a stout defensive effort, suffocating Virginia and holding them to just 32.6 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Badgers’ defensive struggles in the early games of the season were put to rest as they shut down a tough opponent that had been averaging over 73 points per game.
Head coach Greg Gard deserves credit for keeping his players fresh and instilling defensive tenacity, resulting in Virginia scoring just 41 points on 0.788 points per possession. Wisconsin’s dominance was evident in their ability to limit second-chance opportunities, allowing only three offensive rebounds and a mere 14 points in the paint.
Steven Crowl Shines in the Paint
With their size advantage, the Badgers relied on Steven Crowl to make plays in the paint, and he delivered. Crowl’s impact went beyond the stat sheet as he scored 15 points on an efficient 7-of-10 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds (including four offensive boards), and dished out two assists.
Virginia attempted to double-team Crowl whenever he received the ball in the post, but he showcased improved decision-making, consistently finding open teammates for kick-out passes. Crowl’s pick-and-roll chemistry with Chucky Hepburn also created scoring opportunities and paint touches.
Since being called upon by Coach Gard after the loss to Providence, Crowl has stepped up with strong performances against Robert Morris and an efficient double-double against Virginia.
Balanced Scoring and Three-Point Touch
In previous games, the Badgers struggled with finishing and relied heavily on A.J. Storr for scoring. However, against Virginia, Wisconsin proved they could be functional on offense without Storr being a significant factor.
Storr, who had been the team’s leading scorer with 15.5 points per game, had a quiet night, scoring just seven points on 2-of-6 shooting in limited minutes. Instead, other players stepped up to fill the scoring void.
Tyler Wahl overcame a slow start to contribute eight points in the second half, while Max Klesmit poured in nine points with a variety of shots. John Blackwell also made his presence felt, scoring 10 points and hitting 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.
This balanced scoring effort showcased the increased depth of the Badgers’ roster, a significant improvement from last season’s offensive struggles. Wisconsin also regained their three-point touch, shooting 8-of-18 from distance against a tough Virginia defense.
The Wisconsin Badgers’ dominant 65-41 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers highlighted their defensive prowess and the emergence of Steven Crowl as a force in the paint. The team’s ability to rely on multiple scorers and regain their three-point shooting touch bodes well for their future success.