Dec. 2, 2012
By PATRICK HERB
STAR OF THE GAME
Ben Brust earns Star of the Game honors after scoring a team-high 22 points in Wisconsin's 81-56 win over Cal Sunday at the Kohl Center. He also added five rebounds, four assists and three steals in 32 minutes of action. After Wisconsin missed its first five shots from the floor, Brust jump-started the Badgers offense with a 3-pointer and a jumper on back-to-back possessions. He knocked down three triples in all and had a highlight-reel spinning flip shot in the lane. All in a day's work for the junior guard.
PLAY OF THE GAME
If the Badgers were frustrated by their effort in a loss to Virginia four days earlier, plays like the one turned in by Brust and freshman Sam Dekker should make them feel better. In the midst of a 12-0 run midway through the first half, Brust went diving into the fans sitting courtside to save a ball. He happened to save it to a Cal player, but sprinted back on defense to poke the ball free from behind as the Bears looked to fast break. The steal went right to Dekker who took it coast-to-coast, drawing a foul and scoring on a reverse lay-up in traffic to push UW ahead 25-12.
Fresh off winning a third-consecutive Big Ten championship, Wisconsin football head coach Bret Bielema and standouts Montee Ball, James White and Melvin Gordon were announced on the court during the game's first media timeout. The foursome's presence not only ignited the Kohl Center, but it might have fueled the basketball team as well. Moments after that celebration, the Badgers ripped off a 14-0 run that included six consecutive points from Dekker. Wisconsin opened up a 19-6 lead and Cal never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
STAT OF THE GAME
Wisconsin took full advantage of Cal's sloppiness, converting 23 turnovers into 25 points. The Badgers tallied 16 steals on the day en route to topping the 80-point barrier for the third time on the year.