Beyond the Box: Wisconsin 78, Northwestern 46

<b>Sophomore Mike Bruesewtiz's individual 7-2 run helped the Badgers open a double-digit lead Sunday.</b>

Sophomore Mike Bruesewtiz's individual 7-2 run helped the Badgers open a double-digit lead Sunday.

Jan. 23, 2011

Star of the Game
If you accomplish something that previously had only been done by Magic Johnson, it’s a safe bet you’re going to earn Star of the Game honors. That’s the case for freshman guard Josh Gasser, who Sunday became the first Big Ten freshman to record a triple-double since Johnson did so in 1977.

He also became the first UW player to ever put together a triple-double – and the first Big Ten player to do so in a conference game since 2001. Gasser scored 10 points in the first half and added 12 rebounds and 10 assists to complete his historic performance and help the Badgers to a 78-46 rout of Northwestern.

Play of the Game
The outcome was long ago a forgone conclusion, but drama remained in the late stages of Sunday’s game as Gasser chased his triple-double. Twice he dished to a teammate only to see their 3-point attempts miss the mark. However, with 3 minutes to play, Gasser dished to senior Brett Valentyn, who splashed a trey from the wing for assist No. 10. The shot drew a swell of applause from the 100-plus fans in attendance from Gasser’s hometown of Port Washington, Wis.

Turning Point of the Game
After a back-and-forth battle in the early stages, UW began to build a lead midway through the first half. A Jordan Taylor 3-pointer boosted the Badgers to a six-point edge heading into a media timeout at the 10:24 mark, but Mike Bruesewitz’s performance over the next 2 1/2 minutes truly set the tone.

The sophomore forward converted a layup on a feed from Gasser and, on UW’s next offensive trip, again took a pass from Gasser and drained a mid-range jumper that gave Wisconsin its first double-digit lead at 26-16. When he scored for the third-straight possession by draining a 3-pointer with 7:58 remaining, there was no looking back for the Badgers, who went on to lead by 19 at halftime.

Stat of the Game
The Badgers put up some outstanding offensive numbers in walloping Northwestern, but the 46 points they allowed the Wildcats also stands out. Northwestern came into the game averaging 78.6 points per game and hadn’t scored fewer than 62 points all season. That is until the Badgers limited the Wildcats to 41.5 percent shooting and a 2-for-10 performance from 3-point range.

--
Brian Mason
UW Athletic Communications

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