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Fall of the Phoenix: Evans, Badgers outlast Green Bay 65-54

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GB Wisconsin 65, Green Bay 54
Kohl Center • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 16,746

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1st 2nd Final
 Green Bay 23 31 54
 Wisconsin 27 38 65
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Ryan Evans: 13 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Blk 5-12 FG
 • Sam Dekker: 10 Pts, 6 Reb, 3-7 FG
 • Jared Berggren: 10 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Blk 4-7 FG
 Stats at a Glance
 FG Percentage .375 .471
 3-Point FG Percentage .250 .385
 FT Percentage .750 .600
 Offensive Rebounds 11 7
 Defensive Rebounds 24 25
 Total Rebounds 35 32
 Turnovers 9 6
 Bench points 10 22
 Points off TOs 5 8
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Dec. 12, 2012

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MADISON, Wis.  - Less than a week ago, Wisconsin fell at the hands of rival Marquette -- a result of a sluggish first half of basketball that saw UW produce its lowest first-half point total of the season.

The Badgers refused to let another slow start plague them against visiting Green Bay, using a late first half surge to outlast the Phoenix, 65-54, at the Kohl Center on Wednesday.

“There’s a lot of learning that takes place in 40 minutes," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "There are a lot of teams that get better during the course of the game, or at least you hope you’re getting better, and I thought that is what our guys did.”

Senior Ryan Evans scored 13 points to lead Wisconsin, while freshman Sam Dekker and senior Jared Berggren each added 10 points for the Badgers (7-4).

 Fast Facts
• Sam Dekker earned his second career start
• UW used an 18-2 run to turn a 21-14 deficit into a 32-23 lead
• Green Bay has never tallied more than 62 points at the Kohl Center

The Badgers started the game in a funk, hitting just four of their first 14 shots. Meanwhile, Green Bay capitalized on UW's poor shooting and took a 19-12 lead with just over eight minutes left in the first half.

Highlighted by Berggren's game-changing dunk with 2:48 remaining before the break, the Badgers went on a 15-4 run to close the half and opened the second on a 12-4 spurt to take a 39-27 lead.

“Once you dig yourself a hole against this Wisconsin team—a team coached by Bo Ryan—when you’re down 10 or 12 points, it’s hard," Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle said. "You have to chip away slowly, and those 10 points sometimes feel like they’re 20.”

The Phoenix got no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Keifer Sykes scored 14 points to lead the Phoenix (3-6), while Brennan Cougill added 12.

Wisconsin continues its four-game homestand by welcoming the Milwaukee Panthers to the Kohl Center on Saturday, Dec. 22. Tip-off is set for 8:15 p.m. (CT) on the Big Ten Network.

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