The Wisconsin Badgers opened their 2012 NCAA tournament campaign with a convincing 73-49 over the Montana Grizzlies.
Early in the first half, the Grizzlies kept it close, but Wisconsin went on a 7-3 run to end the half. After halftime, Wisconsin pulled away and never looked back, forcing a four-minute Montana scoring drought late to put the Grizzlies away.
Wisconsin dominated on both ends of the court. On the offensive end, the Badgers shot 48% from the field and 52% from three-point range. Jordan Taylor was the catalyst once again for the Badgers, scoring eighteen points, while also adding six assists, eight rebounds, and no turnovers. Evans (18), Gasser (12), Bruesewitz (10), and Evans (10) also scored in double digits.
The Badgers added a fantastic defensive effort to backup their performance on the offensive end. The Badgers shut down Montana’s leading scorer Will Cherry. Cherry scored only nine points on 3-14 shooting. The Badgers held the Grizzlies, as a whole, to only 38% shooting. On defense, the Badgers forced Montana into six three-minute scoring droughts throughout the game. Not only that, but the Badgers also dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Grizzlies 32-19.
The Badgers depth advantage was apparent. Evans and Brust combined for 13 points, while the Grizzlies bench only scored four points. The Grizzles slowed down late, allowing the Badgers to take advantage and seal the victory.
Bo Ryan and company will face the winner of Vanderbilt and Harvard in the third round on Saturday.