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Thursday, November 21, 8 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kohl Center (17,230) -- Madison, Wisconsin. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: BGSU 1-1, Wisconsin 2-0. Away Record: BGSU 0-0, Wisconsin 1-0. Neutral Record: BGSU 0-0, Wisconsin 1-0. Conference Record: BGSU 0-0, Wisconsin 0-0. Series Record: Wisconsin leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The 12th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers will attempt to keep their perfect season alive at home on Thursday night, as they tangle with the Bowling Green Falcons at the Kohl Center.
BGSU hasn't been very busy through the first few weeks of the season, as it has played just two games thus far, both at home. After destroying an inferior Earlham squad in their opener, 102-49, the Falcons faced a much more formidable opponent on Nov. 15 in South Florida and did not fare well, as they fell in a 75-61 final.
Wisconsin has opened the season 4-0 for the second time in the last three years, and it already has a signature win on its resume' after downing nationally-ranked Florida at home on Nov. 12, 59-53. The Badgers most recently dismissed North Dakota on Tuesday night in a shootout, 103-85.
The Badgers have a 2-1 series advantage over Bowling Green, which includes an 87-79 win in the last matchup back in 1991.
The Falcons lost control of the lead versus USF midway through the first half and never again held the advantage, as they shot just 35.9 percent from the field and 55 percent from the free-throw line on their way to a 14-point defeat. Jehvon Clarke was the team's leading scorer with 17 points, but it came at the cost of a brutal night from the floor (6-of-24). Spencer Parker and Richaun Holmes rounded out the lackluster scoring performance with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
More than likely, BGSU is neither as good as it proved in its 102-point opener, nor as bad as it showed against USF, and its current field goal percentage (.453) is probably a good bench mark for the squad going forward. Clarke (17.0 ppg) has handed out 6.0 assists per game, while Parker, Holmes and Anthony Henderson all net between 11.0 and 13.5 points per game. Chauncey Orr scored 14 points in just 12 minutes in the opener, but did not play against USF due to injury, and the timetable for his return is unknown.
Wisconsin was not at its best at the defensive end the last time out, as it allowed North Dakota to net 54.5 percent of its field goal tries, but luckily it was on fire from the field itself (.593) as the team scored over 100 points for the first time since 1995. Leading the charge was Frank Kaminsky on a historic night. The junior forward poured in a school-record 43 points in just 28 minutes of work, as he connected on 16-of-19 from the field, including all six of his attempts from 3-point range. Kaminsky's effort overshadowed the strong play of Sam Dekker (19 points), Traevon Jackson (14 points, eight assists) and Ben Brust (10 points, eight rebounds).
It has been an uncharacteristic start for the Badgers, who are both scoring more (79.2 ppg) and allowing more points to opponents (69.8 ppg) than they have been used to in recent years. Kaminsky's (17.3 ppg) outburst earlier in the week allowed him to take over as the team's leading scorer. Dekker nets 16.0 points per game, while Jackson (11.5 ppg, 4.8. apg), Brust (11.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Josh Gasser (9.5 ppg) make up the rest of the well-balanced starting five.
Wisconsin has been a potent shooting team in the early going this season and looks like the contender it was expected to be coming into the campaign. Expect the Badgers' hot hand to continue against the inconsistent Falcons.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wisconsin 88, Bowling Green 64
11/21 10:35:21 ET
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