February 13, 2010

Bohannon buries Hoosiers with career day

MADISON - Jason Bohannon apparently slipped through the cracks in Indiana's game plan for Saturday's matinee tilt inside the Kohl Center against Wisconsin.

After his 30-point showering in Wisconsin's easy 83-55 win over the Hoosiers, it would be safe to say he won't be overlooked again.

"Shots felt good coming off my hand," Bohannon, who set a new career high in 3-pointers made (7) and points (30), said. "A lot of them were off second chance points where (Mike Bruesewitz) is getting a rebound, kicking it out and finding the open guy or Trevon Hughes penetrates, kicks it out and finds the open guy.

"Those are always the best shots when you get a pass from inside the paint to the outside."

By hitting the 30-point plateau, Bohannon not only set a new career high, but he also became the first Badger scorer to hit the mark since Alando Tucker dropped 32 against Pittsburgh in 2006.

It just so happened that Tucker, the school's all-time leading scorer, as well as former Badgers Marcus Landry and Greg Stiemsma were in attendance to witness Bohannon's aerial display.

By the end, Bohannon connected on 11-of-16 shots, including a blazing hot 7-of-11 effort from beyond the arc against multiple defensive looks from a young, and somewhat feisty Indiana squad.

"He's contributing in a lot of ways," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "The other team's know that. It's not like people are leaving him alone on purpose. He does work hard to get open."

Wisconsin made an early effort in Saturday's game to burst through the perimeter barrier that the team has fallen so much in love with and got production inside the lane.

A lot of that had to do with Trevon Hughes and the way he set the tone early during a 17-3 Badger run that Indiana never recovered from. During that stretch, Hughes scored 10 of his 16 first half points, most of which came from his own dribble penetration or as a direct result of others dribble penetration.

"We wanted to get into the lane and take better shots," Hughes, who finished with 19 points, said. "We fed the post and tried to get something out of that each and every possession."

Wisconsin finished the game with 32 points in the paint and 18 from second chance opportunities.

Most of those second chance points had something to do with the way Mike Bruesewitz, who coach Ryan said is poised to start contributing more, attacked the offensive glass.

When the final buzzer sounded, Bruesewitz had seven total rebounds, six on the offensive side of the ball. Two of those six offensive rebounds led directly to six points from two Bohannon 3-pointers.

"They were the number two rebounding team in the Big Ten," Bruesewitz said after the game. "Coach has always said that they can also give up some offensive rebounds. I just felt that when they went to that zone, or even when they were in man, they really didn't check me out.

"I kind of felt like I could just go get it whenever I wanted to."

From the very start it was evident that Wisconsin was somewhat bitter from the shocking loss suffered earlier in the week on its home floor. To compliment its fast start offensively, Wisconsin really proved tenacious on the defensive side of the ball as it forced five turnovers in the first five minutes of the game.

By the end of the half, Indiana had committed 10 of its eventual 21 turnovers that led directly to 29 points for the Badgers.

"A coach is never going to get too high or too low over an occurrence of one particular 40 minutes of basketball," Ryan said. "But we did take advantage of getting into some passing lanes and making good reads defensively. We always talk about trying to get some offense from our defense, but we're not the type of team that can go out and pressure and overplay a lot.

"So we have to be opportunistic."

As a team with legitimate Big Ten title aspirations, Wisconsin proved Tuesday's slip up against a hot Illini team wasn't going to linger any longer than it did. The Badgers jumped on the Hoosiers early much like they did against Illinois, but this time UW did not release the pressure.

"Anytime you get the lead like that you want to continue to build upon it," Bohannon said. "Tonight we did a very good job of that by not letting them get back into the game and making it a game. We wanted to keep pushing that lead further and further. That was something we accomplished and we hope to do so continuously throughout the rest of the year."

In addition to Bohannon and Hughes' combined 49 points, UW received solid efforts from Jordan Taylor (11 points), Keaton Nankivil (nine points) and Ryan Evans (six points).

Rob Wilson, who was on the receiving end of an intentional foul towards the end of the game was slapped with a technical in the waning minutes after he apparently voiced his displeasure with the Indiana player that decked him.

All in all, it was an impressive performance from a Badger team that looked lost at times against Illinois earlier in the week. Wisconsin shot better than it did on Tuesday (50.8 percent from the field and 40 percent from downtown) and forced Indiana into multiple turnover situations.

Saturday was a far cry from last Tuesday night.

"Basically it was just having to bounce back and respond to the loss that we had on Tuesday," Hughes said. "These are two different teams out there from Tuesday to today. It is always good when shots are going in but at the same time, it always looks good."


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