March 18, 2012
BY KARL ANDERSON
UW Athletic Communications
STAR OF THE GAME
After opening the NCAA tournament with a nearly flawless line of 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and zero turnovers against Montana, Jordan Taylor posted a gritty 14-point effort in Saturday’s Round of 32 matchup against Vanderbilt. Tying for the game high in points, Taylor made 3 3-pointers, grabbed two rebounds and dished out three assists in the Badgers’ 60-57 win over the Commodores. He was strong on the defensive end, as well. Taylor and his teammates held Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins to 13 points on 3-of-13 shooting and Jeffery Taylor to nine points on 4-of-12. The 22 combined points for Vanderbilt duo were well below their usual combined average of 36.4 points per game.
PLAY OF THE GAME
After Ryan Evans made one of two free throws to put Wisconsin up 60-57, Vanderbilt had one last chance to try to tie the game. Lance Goulbourne prepared to throw a baseball pass as he stood out of bounds opposite Vanderbilt’s hoop with just 1.9 seconds to go. Jared Berggren was given the task of guarding the pass, and he came through in the clutch. Berggren’s right hand got a piece of Goulbourne’s pass, causing the clock to start and tick away. The ball caromed away and Vanderbilt’s desperation heave came up well short as the Badgers prevailed.
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME
A layup by Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli gave Vanderbilt a 57-56 lead with 2:19 to play, but that would be the last time the Commodores would be in front. On the Badgers’ next possession, Jordan Taylor had the ball in his hands with the shot clock winding down. With three seconds left to shoot, he pulled up well behind the 3-point line from the top of the key and buried a 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of Kedren Johnson to put the Badgers in front, 59-57, with 1:41 to play.
STAT OF THE GAME
For the second straight game, 3-point shooting proved to be the difference in the Badgers’ victory. After making 10-of-19 3-pointers in the second round against Montana, Wisconsin converted 10-of-33 3-point tries versus the Commodores. The 33 attempts were the second most ever for the Badgers in an NCAA tournament game. Jordan Taylor and Ben Brust led the way, as each made three 3’s in the game.
Conversely, Vanderbilt shot just 26.3 percent (5-of-19) on its shots from beyond the arc. The shooting percentage was well below its season average of 39.1, while its five 3-point baskets were tied for the second-lowest mark of the season.