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NCAAB: After Big Ten loss, Wisconsin aims to rebound vs. Nicholls

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After dropping out of the AP Top 25 Poll following a weekend road loss at No. 15 Ohio State, Wisconsin begins a stretch of three consecutive nonconference games when it hosts Nicholls State on Wednesday.

After rallying from 22 points down to defeat Indiana at home 64-59 in their Big Ten opener last Wednesday, the Badgers (8-2) were bounced on the road, 73-55, by Ohio State on Saturday, snapping Wisconsin’s six-game winning streak.

Nicholls State (7-3) has won three straight following Monday night’s home victory over NAIA side Blue Mountain College. Two of the Colonels’ losses were 89-60 at top-ranked Baylor, the defending national champions, and 63-50 at TCU after leading by six at the half.

Wisconsin trailed 34-29 at the half against Ohio State, but managed just 10 field goals in the second half, including 2 of 13 from 3-point range. Overall, the Badgers shot just 33.8 percent from the floor, en route to their lowest scoring output of the season. They were also outrebounded, 49-28.

“I thought we got a little out of sync in the middle part of the first half, out of some things offensively, which is a credit to them, and they got rolling a little bit,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “We were never able to get back into a rhythm offensively like we had been in. We’ll learn from this, watch the tape and try to continue to get better.”

Johnny Davis had 24 points against Ohio State and Brad Davison had 13, but the rest of the team made just 7 of 31 shots, including 1 of 13 from beyond the arc.

Davis, a 6-foot-5 guard, averages a team-best 20.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. The sixth man last season as a freshman, Davis did not play in the Badgers only other loss, 63-58 at home vs. Providence on Nov. 15.

Davison, a fifth-year senior guard, averages 14.8 points per-game and has connected on a team-leading 25 3-pointers this season. Forward Tyler Wahl, the only other returning starter, averages eight points and 5.1 rebounds. Point guard Chucky Hepburn, the first true freshman to start for the Badgers since eventual NBA standout Devin Harris in 2001, averages 6.8 points but is shooting just 34 percent from the floor.

Steven Crowl, a 7- foot sophomore, and 7-1 grad transfer Chris Vogt give the Badgers a size advantage over the Colonels, who were outrebounded 48-26 vs. Baylor.

Nicholls State, which won the Southland Conference regular season title last season, is led by guard Ty Gordon, who entered Monday averaging 18.2 points per-game. He is 24 of 69 from 3-point range. Davante Carter averages 11.3 points and Latrell Jones 10.7. Emmanuel Little averages 6.7 rebounds.

Wisconsin and Nicholls State have met just once previously, when the then-fifth-ranked Badgers notched an 86-43 victory at home in 2014.

–Field Level Media

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