UNLV Falls At No. 14 Wisconsin, 62-51
Dec. 10, 2011
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - UNLV coach Dave Rice likes his team to run. Against No. 14 Wisconsin on Saturday, the Rebels barely got above a brisk walk.
Ben Brust came off the bench to score a career-high 25 points, hitting all seven of his 3-point attempts and leading the Badgers over UNLV 62-51.
UNLV (9-2) began the day averaging 83 points per game, but could muster only five fastbreak points and couldn't find a way to escape an early hole.
Instead, every time the Rebels appeared to have an opportunity in the second half to build some momentum, they seemed to either turn it over or take an ill-advised shot. More often than not, it seemed Wisconsin (8-2) was able to capitalize on the other end with a big shot by Brust.
"I'm not pleased at all with our execution on either end of the floor," Rice said. "We regrouped at the half. We came out and we looked like we were supposed to in terms of our aggressiveness. There are no excuses. We've just got to play better and execute better. We've got to get tougher."
Wisconsin had been limiting opponents to just 44 points per game, holding them to a shade less than 33 percent shooting.
The Badgers' defense showed up as advertised. But Wisconsin also worked deep into the shot clock, helping to keep the Rebels out of their running attack.
"We didn't do a good job of execution on offense, and we lost a little bit of our defensive energy," Rice said.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said the Badgers didn't intentionally try to slow down their offense. Rather, they took what UNLV gave them, and it wasn't much. Both teams shot less than 40 percent.
"Why would you take 15 seconds to throw up a bad shot when at 28 seconds you got a pretty decent one?" Ryan said. "We're going to take what the defense gives us, and that's not going to change."
The performance snapped a shooting funk for Brust, who had hit just 3 of his last 13 3-pointers in the previous three games.
Against UNLV, Brust missed just one shot for the game. He was perfect from 3-point range, was 1 of 2 from inside the arc and made both of his free throws.
Wisconsin grabbed control in the first half with a 13-0 run that gave the Badgers a 31-15 lead. They pushed their advantage to as many as 19 in the first half before the Rebels were able to cut it to 36-23 at half.
From there, UNLV couldn't get inside of double digits until just under 4 minutes left, when Justin Hawkins hit a wide open 3 from the corner to make it 57-49. It was the first time UNLV had been that been that close since 23-15 with 7 minutes left in the first half.
But Mike Moser missed a layup on UNLV's next possession, Brust hit a deep 3 after the Badgers grabbed the offensive rebound.
Chace Stanback scored 16 to lead UNLV.