Wisconsin-Marquette recap: Short-handed Badgers fall 82-63 to in-state rival

MADISON, Wis. — Marquette defeated Wisconsin 82-63 on Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center in a game the Badgers would love to forget. Wisconsin was without the services of point guard D’Mitrik Trice and guard Kobe King, both of whom are out indefinitely with injuries. That lack of depth showed early against a talented Marquette team.

WHY WISCONSIN LOST: If you want an idea of just how short-handed Wisconsin was on Saturday, consider the Badgers’ first three subs into the game: center Nate Reuvers, forward Aaron Moesch and guard T.J. Schlundt. Reuvers intended on redshirting before coaches opted to play him in the sixth game because of the lack of frontcourt production. Moesch was a walk-on his first four seasons, and Schlundt arrived on campus as a walk-on as well. Moesch had played a total of 11 minutes this season before entering the game, while Schlundt had played 17 minutes.

Wisconsin (4-7) would have been in a fight to keep pace with Marquette (7-3) even if Trice and King had been healthy. But without them, the game was essentially over before it started. The fact Wisconsin forwards Charlie Thomas, Andy Van Vliet and Alex Illikainen can’t be counted on to earn consistent minutes on this team shows how few options Badgers coach Greg Gard has this season.

On Saturday, Wisconsin didn’t have enough offensive to keep pace with Marquette despite guard Brad Davison and forward Ethan Happ’s best efforts. Davison and Happ combined for 22 of Wisconsin’s 32 first-half points. But Wisconsin had no answer for Marquette guard Andrew Rowsey in the second half. Rowsey finished with 24 points and buried 5 of 6 3-pointers.

WHAT IT MEANS: A major news development dropped before tip-off, when it was announced that Trice and King would be out indefinitely. Trice, who sustained a right foot injury, will undergo surgery Monday and then begin rehab in 2-3 weeks. King is out with a left knee injury. Those are devastating losses for a Wisconsin team desperately trying to pick up wins and get back into the NCAA Tournament picture. Gard was forced to use a different playing rotation, and he might have to stick with it for the foreseeable future. While Wisconsin has winnable nonconference games in its next four contests, the Badgers will have to kick it up a notch to compete when Big Ten play arrives again in January.

WHO STARRED: Davison and Happ brought the offensive firepower Saturday. Davison scored 13 first-half points and finished with a career-high 20 points. Happ tallied 17 points with 9 rebounds.

WHO STUMBLED: Aleem Ford and Nate Reuvers and couldn’t get going offensively, but Reuvers showed great fight inside. He blocked 3 shots in the first half. Reuvers finished with 5 points on 2 of 8 shooting. Ford tallied 2 points on 1 of 3 shooting in 18 minutes.

WHO WAS THERE: According to Evan Flood of Badger247.com, three high school prospects in the 2020 class from La Crosse, Wis., were in attendance: small forward Jordan Davis, shooting guard Jonathan Davis and power forward Terrance Thompson. Class of 2020 forward Jalen Johnson (Sun Prairie, Wis.) also attended the game. Johnson is a 5-star player who is rated as the No. 6 player in the nation.

WHO IS NEXT: Wisconsin plays Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. CT Wednesday.

BOX SCORE:

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