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December 7, 2011

Taylor guides Badgers to easy win

MADISON - Entering Wednesday's game against in-state brethren Green Bay, senior guard Jordan Taylor already had a 3.42 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Following Wisconsin's 70-42 dismantling of the Phoenix, and Taylor's 10-assist night, his 4.25 assist-to-turnover ratio flashes a bit brighter.

"He's been Jordan Taylor," UW head coach Bo Ryan, who now stands 79-6 at home against non-conference opponents, said. "I mean 10 assists, zero turnovers? Not too many guys in the country that have that."

Not too many guys in the country are Jordan Taylor.

The senior All-American also chipped in 15 points and a couple of rebounds. He incorporated his bigs - - Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren scored 14 and 13 points, respectively - - and role players alike.

"I think we did a good job of moving bodies and moving the ball and just getting good shots every time down," Taylor said. "We did a better job of taking care of the ball this time around.

"I think it's a matter of just trying to get better every game."

Wisconsin only turned the ball over six times against Green Bay. Defensively, the Badgers badgered the Phoenix into 16 turnover and more importantly, converted those turnovers into 21 points.

Green Bay didn't score any points off UW's mishaps.

"You're going to lose to a really good team in their arena by 25 or 30 if you do that," Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle said. "Again, there's a lot to learn for our young club and we just weren't ready to compete at this level tonight."

Plenty of that had to do with Wisconsin's post defense, and the way it shut down Green Bay big man Alec Brown.

Standing 7-feet-1, Brown led the Phoenix with 14 points per game entering Wednesday's contest. Though he finished as the only double-digit scorer for Green Bay, his 10 points never came easy.

Berggren and Frank Kaminsky did a stand-up job defending him in the post. Brown finished the game shooting 4-of-12 from the field. He was held to just four rebounds and only blocked one shot.

"That was definitely an emphasis of ours in practice," Berggren, whose four steals established a new career-high, said. "WE know he is a good player. If he catches it inside it's not good for us.

"We just tried to focus on keeping the ball out his hands and working to front him."

Brown was never comfortable and because of it, Green Bay never stood a chance.

Wisconsin stormed out of the gates with an 8-2 run to open Wednesday's contest. Though Green Bay closed UW's lead to 12-11 midway through the first half the Badgers eventually found an offensive rhythm, allowing them to pull away from the overmatched Phoenix.

UW went on a 16-4 run to open up a double-digit lead at the break.

"We played a good team on a mission tonight," Wardle said. "You could tell right off the bat that Wisconsin was coming out (hard). They lost their last home game and we were going to see their 'A' game tonight.

"We definitely saw a team that was on a mission to win this game and we didn't compete at a very good level."

Senior guard Rob Wilson scored the first five points for Wisconsin after entering the game during the early portions of the first half. Sophomore guard Ben Brust also chipped in six points off the bench.

Freshman guard Traevon Jackson shot 50 percent from the floor, finished with four points and collected three rebounds, all of the offensive variety. He played 11 minutes.

"We know we have plenty of guys that can step in and give us some good minutes," Berggren said. "We were able to show that tonight. I think when we get guys going like that we're going to be tough to stop.

"It's good to see."

Team notes:

-With Wednesday night's win, Wisconsin has now won 42 consecutive home games against unranked non-conference opponents. It also improved its record to 79-6 under Bo Ryan at home against non-conference foes.

-The Badgers have never lost at home to Green Bay, improving to 15-0 all-time in Madison.

-Wednesday's official attendance was 17,076. That mark snaps UW's 143-game Kohl Center sellout streak that dates back to the 2003 season. According to a UW spokesperson, Wisconsin would have extended its streak had it sold 143 more tickets leading into the game.

-Holding Green Bay to 42 points marks the sixth time in nine game the Wisconsin defense has held opponents to 50 points or less. UW continues to lead the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 44.2 points per game. With Bo Ryan at the helm UW is 66-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 50 points.

-Consistent with the defensive theme, Wisconsin has held 13-straight opponents to 65 points or fewer, the nation's longest such streak.

-UW swatted seven Green Bay shots. That matches its season high.

Individual notes:

-With 15 points and 10 assists, Taylor becomes just the second Badger player to post a points and assists double-double since 1993. Josh Gasser's triple double last season at Northwestern is the other.

-Evans scored 13 points in Wednesday night's win. That marks his fifth double-digit scoring effort of the season.

-Evan Anderson scored his first career points (2) as a Badgers with a running jump hook late in Wednesday's win.

-Wisconsin football quarterback Russell Wilson was given a standing ovation during the first half of Wednesday's win.

-Wisconsin's national championship cross country team was featured during a halftime celebration Wednesday night. Head coach Mick Byrne and his team were saluted at midcourt by the Badger faithful.

Quotable:

Taylor on UW's ability to score 70 points even though it shot 18 percent from downtown:

"I guess that's nice when you can go out and still put up 70 points when you shoot (a bad) percentage from three. I guess it's nice to know you can go out and score. We did a good job of touching Jared and Ryan down low and they made some nice moves down there. We got to the foul line and we did a little better job of making free throws. We still have to do a better job of taking advantage of that, but I guess it's nice to know that you can still score when the 3's aren't going down.

"It shows the different elements we have to our team."



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