Milwaukee (3-9) at Wisconsin (7-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 22, 9:15 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kohl Center (17,230) -- Madison, Wisconsin. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Milwaukee 3-2, Wisconsin 6-1. Away Record: Milwaukee 0-5, Wisconsin 0-2. Neutral Record: Milwaukee 0-2, Wisconsin 1-1. Conference Record: Milwaukee 0-0, Wisconsin 0-0. Series Record: Wisconsin leads, 28-1.
GAME NOTES: The Milwaukee Panthers try to score their first win away from home yet again on Saturday night, as they challenge the Wisconsin Badgers in non- conference play at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Milwaukee has been out of action since last weekend's 69-58 home loss to Tennessee Tech, the team's third straight setback and the eighth in the last nine outings. The only win for the team during that stretch came in overtime against Northern Illinois, 80-73, on Dec. 7. Away from home, the Panthers are 0-5 in true road dates and winless in two attempts on a neutral floor.
As for the Badgers, they have a record of 7-4 overall, yet only twice have they managed to win back-to-back contests. Back on Dec. 12, the team welcomed Green Bay to Madison and used the opportunity to grab a 65-54 win, their third in the last four outings.
The Badgers hold an overwhelming 28-1 advantage in the all-time series with Milwaukee heading into this meeting. The lone win for the Panthers came two decades ago by a score of 77-72. Over the course of that 1992-93 campaign, Milwaukee produced a mark of 23-4 in just its third year at the Division I level.
Beyond the starting five which accounted for 53 points for the Panthers, there was little support as they suffered the home loss to Tennessee Tech the last time out. James Haarsma finished with a double-double consisting of 14 points and 14 rebounds, adding three blocked shots and three assists, while Jordan Aaron tacked on 15 points, but was also guilty of six of the unit's 16 turnovers. Kyle Klem posted 10 points and nine boards, but even those efforts were not enough to counter the mere 1-of-10 shooting performance of Paris Gulley. The team ended up shooting just 32.2 percent from the floor, which is far from optimal, yet it is still better than the group's two previous performances (.258 and .277). Aaron (14.8 ppg) and Gulley (14.2 ppg) are the leaders on offense, accounting for almost half of the team's 61.7 ppg, but both are connecting on less than 37.5 percent from the floor, and that has the Panthers coming in at a disappointing 36.6 percent through 12 games.
Against another one of the schools from the state of Wisconsin, the Badgers found it slow going versus Green Bay last week before pulling away in the second half in the double-digit victory. UW went from shooting only 38.5 percent from the floor in the first half to 56.0 percent after intermission as Ryan Evans led the way with 13 points and seven rebounds, followed by Sam Dekker and Jared Berggren with 10 points apiece, the latter adding four blocked shots as well. Averaging a solid 71.9 ppg at this stage, the Badgers have four players scoring in double figures, led by Berggren with 13.9 ppg, followed by Ben Brust with 12.5 ppg as the pair combine to also clear close to 14 rebounds per contest as well. An unselfish group for sure, there's not a single player on the roster who has more turnovers than assists.
Even though the Badgers aren't a dominating force this season, they are strong enough to keep Milwaukee far away from the win column yet again, thanks to a defense that is holding foes to just 57.1 ppg.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wisconsin 67, Milwaukee 54
12/22 10:39:37 ET