A visit to Nebraska might be what Wisconsin needs to solve its latest road issues.
The No. 21 Badgers can avoid a third straight road defeat with a sixth consecutive win over the Cornhuskers, who haven’t won a Big Ten game in more than a year, on Wednesday night in Lincoln, Neb.
Wisconsin (14-6, 8-5 Big Ten) is 2-3 since beating Rutgers and Northwestern on Jan. 15 and 20, respectively. Perhaps more concerning, those three Badger defeats to Ohio State, at Penn State and at Illinois came by a combined 37 points.
Wisconsin shot just 4-for-24 from 3-point range and was outrebounded 46-19 during Saturday’s 75-60 loss to the surging Fighting Illini. The Badgers, who have yet to lose consecutive games this season, will also try to avoid dropping three straight road contests for a second year in a row.
They’ve shot 40.0 percent while going 3-4 on the road this season.
“I think we’ve got to be more locked in and whatnot,” said Nate Reuvers, who had 11 points against Illinois. “Especially on the offensive end. Playing (with a) more confident flow, moving around and not be robotic. And then on the defensive end, just make sure we’re locked in and not give up easy buckets.”
The Badgers at least got things done defensively during a 67-53 home win over Nebraska (4-10, 0-7) on Dec. 22. The Cornhuskers shot 33.3 percent, were outrebounded 40-31 and outscored 42-29 in the second half of a game they trailed by one at the break.
In fact, Nebraska has struggled mightily while averaging 59.6 points during its five-game losing streak against the Badgers.
Nebraska has shot 39.1 percent, including 29.9 from 3-point range, during its 23-game Big Ten losing streak that dates to a 76-70 win over Iowa on Jan. 7, 2020. The Cornhuskers trailed by 15 at halftime, went 3-of-15 from beyond the arc and committed 18 turnovers during Monday’s 79-61 loss at Minnesota.
“We have a very fine margin to win these games,” said an exasperated Cornhuskers coach Fred Hoiberg, whose squad has turned the ball over 35 times in the last two contests.
“We’re trying to do too much out there when things aren’t there.”
The Cornhuskers could have leading scorer Teddy Allen (17.2 points per game) available after he was benched Monday due to what the team called a “failure to meet internal expectations.” Allen totaled 44 points in two games prior to scoring three on 1-of-10 shooting during Saturday’s 66-56 loss at Michigan State.
“It’s a decision that I made before the (Minnesota) game,” Hoiberg said of Allen’s absence. “It was a coach’s decision and we’ll reevaluate things (Tuesday).”
Allen had 11 points while Dalano Banton (11.9 ppg) scored 15 in the December loss at Wisconsin.
Badgers leading scorer D’Mitrik Trice (13.8 ppg) had just seven points in this season’s win over Nebraska. However, he scored 22 on 9-of-18 shooting against Illinois — after totaling six points and missing 12 of 14 shots in his previous two games.
This game was originally scheduled to be played Thursday, but got moved up a day after Nebraska’s schedule for the rest of the week was reworked.
–Field Level Media