MILWAUKEE — Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky led the University of Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team to a 93-54 road rout of the UW-Milwaukee Panthers Wednesday night.
Kaminsky led his team in scoring with 18 points, while Dekker finished the night with 17. Dekker was questionable for the game with an ankle injury, but came out firing, including a Sports Center Top Ten worthy alley oop dunk in the first half.
The fifth-ranked Badgers (9-1) rebounded well from its poor showing in last Saturday’s win at Marquette, where the team shot an abysmal 32 percent from the field.
“It was nice to see the ball go through the net,” Badgers Coach Bo Ryan said after the win. “We made some shots today we weren’t hitting Saturday, and they just happened to go in tonight.”
“That’s just the game of basketball,” Dekker said. “Things fluctuate. One day we’ll shoot well and another day we won’t be able to buy a basket … That’s the game of basketball. You never know what’s going to happen, but that’s what makes it great.”
UWM Coach Rob Jeter’s fear that the Badgers would not have two consecutive off-nights in Milwaukee came true as the Badgers drilled 60.9 percent of its field goals, along with 50 percent from beyond the arc.
“It’s what you worry about as a coach – when you see a team like Wisconsin struggle as much as they did their last game out and you know they’re much better shooters than that – you just hope you’re not that next team where it all comes together, and that’s what it seemed like happened tonight,” Jeter said at the post-game press conference.
He went on to say that the Badgers’ elite shooting exposed a lot of inexperience in his players.
Other than Panthers junior Matt Tiby, who finished the game with 17 points, no one scored in the double-digits for the Panthers. In fact, just 36 percent of UWM’s shots made it through the net. But Jeter also said they could not find a defensive scheme to slow down the high-powered UW basketball team.
“We played a little zone, we played man, we did a little of everything,” Jeter said. “It’s hard to get back into the zone when you’re down on as many points as we were, but we just never made them uncomfortable.”
“As far as a team, defensively, tonight we just played poorly,” UWM senior Steve McWhorter said in agreement with his coach. “We didn’t guard anyone. Giving up 90 points to a team that averages around 70, you can’t expect to win, especially with a top-five team in the country.”
As Jeter said, it’s time for his team to get better, and he will be able to test his 4-6 Panthers’ progress again on Sunday when UWM plays Montana at home.
This was UW’s fourth win in Milwaukee in 2014. They beat American and Oregon in the NCAA tournament in March. Then they defeated Marquette at the BMO Harris Bradley Center last Saturday.