March 15, 2012
By KARL ANDERSON
UW Athletic Communications
STAR OF THE GAME
The first question Jordan Taylor received at the postgame press conference was, “Is this as close to a perfect game as you’ve had?” When you get a question like that, you must be the player of the game. Taylor scored 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists with no turnovers as the Badgers won their opening game of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, 73-49, over Montana. He was strong on the defensive end as well, limiting Montana’s leading scorer, Will Cherry, to just 9 points on 3-of-14 shooting. In addition, with a 3-pointer in the second half, he became just the eighth player in school history to score 1,500 points in his career.
PLAY OF THE GAME
A pair of back-to-back 3-pointers in the second half got Montana within 10 points, 48-38, midway through the second half. The Grizzlies then used their half-court trap, which had proven successful at times, in an attempt to create another turnover. After the Badgers navigated the trap, Taylor found himself trapped in the corner but was able to slip through a double team thanks to some crafty dribbling. He then worked his way into the lane for a tough, contested layup. The bucket ended Montana’s run and started the Badgers on a 7-0 spurt which essentially put the game out of reach.
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME
Montana’s Shawn Stockton converted a layup with 2:47 left in the first half to make it a five-point game at 33-28 in favor of UW. From then on, the Badgers’ defense clamped down and put the game out of reach. The Badgers forced a field goal drought of 9:43 from the 2:47 mark of first half to the 13:00 mark of second half. Wisconsin went on a 14-4 run over that span and moved ahead 47-32.
STAT OF THE GAME
52.6% – Strong 3-point shooting helped carry the Badgers to victory Thursday afternoon. Wisconsin made 10 of 19 3-point attempts, finishing at 52.6 percent from beyond the arc. It goes down as Wisconsin’s third-best 3-point shooting performance in an NCAA tournament game. The Badgers open the game making 6-of-8 shots from downtown and then converted 4-of-7 from downtown in the second half. Taylor hit three 3-pointers, while Mike Bruesewitz and Josh Gasser each splashed two.