Wisconsin looks to win back-to-back games for the first time in six weeks when it hosts Green Bay on Saturday. The Badgers ended a two-game slide with an 81-80 victory against Western Kentucky on Dec. 13 and hopes for some more offensive fireworks after being held to 65 or fewer points on six occasions this season.
“It feels good when everyone is hitting shots,” Wisconsin guard Brevin Pritzl told reporters. “That’s just something we have to keep doing, just taking shots with the confidence they will go down and then they will.” The Badgers won their first game without sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice, who was averaging 9.4 points and 2.3 assists per game before undergoing surgery on his right foot, to leave an already inexperienced backcourt alarmingly thin. Wisconsin has dominated the rivalry with Green Bay, winning seven straight meetings, including five by double digits and hopes to climb back to .500 before Big Ten play resumes in early January. Green Bay suffered an 81-79 overtime setback to Bowling Green on Thursday and aims to upend the Badgers for the first time since an 88-84 victory on Dec. 9, 2009.
TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
ABOUT GREEN BAY (5-7): Khalil Small flirted with a double-double as he scored a game-high 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the loss to Bowling Green to finish in double figures in scoring for the 12th straight game. Sandy Cohen acquitted himself well in his Phoenix debut as he scored 16 points in his first collegiate game in over a year after transferring from Marquette, but Green Bay was undone by a 34.6 percent shooting performance. “We have really struggled to score the basketball,” Phoenix coach Linc Darner told reporters. “Hopefully it will get better but we’re 12 games in and this has been our Achilles heel.”
ABOUT WISCONSIN (5-7): Pritzl went 4-of-5 from beyond the arc en route to matching his career high with 17 points as the Badgers finished with a season-best 12 3-pointers in the win against Western Kentucky. Ethan Happ also scored 17 points and dished out six assists to finish in double figures for the 10th time this season. Brad Davison tallied 16 points, including the game-winning free throw with 0.6 seconds left, while freshman forward Aleem Ford set a new career high with 14 points to go along with five rebounds.
1. Wisconsin is 22-1 all-time against Green Bay.
2. The Badgers are 42-10 against instate opponents since 2000.
3. Green Bay is 0-19 on the road against the Badgers.
PREDICTION: Wisconsin 71, Green Bay 65