Saturday's Big Ten basketball: No. 12 Wisconsin wallops No. 23 Louisville, 85-48

Joe Hoehn
Associated Press

Madison, Wis. — The 12th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers overwhelmed short-handed Louisville, handing the No. 23 Cardinals their worst loss in more than 60 years.

Micah Potter scored 20 points and Aleem Ford added 12 to lead the Badgers an 85-48 non-conference victory over short-handed No. 23 Louisville on Saturday in a rescheduled ACC/Big Ten Challenge game.

It was Louisville’s most-lopsided loss since Xavier beat the Cardinals 99-59 on Feb. 13, 1956.

“We were thoroughly out-played, out-manned, out-toughed, out-coached,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said. “Wisconsin’s got a veteran crew. They played like a million bucks and didn’t miss a shot from the field. We never really offered resistance the entire way.”

The Cardinals, playing their first game since Dec. 1 after team activities were suspended due to coronavirus issues within the program, were without leading scorer Carlik Jones. The graduate transfer point guard, averaging 17.3 points, traveled with the team but didn’t play.

Wisconsin's Jonathan Davis (1) blocks a shot by Louisville's Jae'Lyn Withers (24) during the first half.

Louisville (4-1), playing its first road game, originally had been scheduled to play at Wisconsin on Dec. 9.

Trevor Anderson added 11 points and Brad Davison 10 for Wisconsin (6-1), which rolled to a 44-18 halftime lead.

David Johnson had 12 points and Quinn Slazinski 11 for the Cardinals.

“Obviously really pleased with the way we played,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “One of the more complete games we’ve probably played this year. Got a ton of contributions across the board. Everybody that stepped in there, I thought did a good job. I thought we got better, figured some things out as the game went on.”

The Badgers gained control early with 16 consecutive points, capping the run at 25-4 when Davison was fouled on a 3-pointer and added the free throw.

Louisville, which started two freshmen and three sophomores, went almost nine minutes without scoring, missing 11 shots and committing six turnovers over that span, and obviously missed Jones.

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“He changes our team,” Mack said. “The ball-handling responsibilities don’t solely fall on him. It’s not going to make up whatever the deficit was. It is what it is. Those are the cards we’re dealt. Had we fought and done the things early in the game to give ourselves a chance going into halftime, then maybe the game’s different.”

Wisconsin relied on its 3-point shooting to extend the lead to 44-18 at the half. D’Mitirk Trice put the Badgers up 6-0 with a pair of 3-pointers. Wisconsin finished the half 10 of 17 beyond the arc, including three each by Trice and Davison.

Wisconsin led comfortably throughout the second half. Anderson’s 3-pointer capped a 13-0 run that put the Badgers up 80-38 with 3:40 remaining.

The Badgers shot 54.4 percent, making 31 of 57 shots, including 16 of 25 from three-point range. Wisconsin also scored 19 points off 18 Louisville turnovers.

Wisconsin’s victory gives the Big Ten a 7-5 lead in the ACC/Big Ten challenge and enables them to clinch it.

“When you get 22 assists, you’re not doing that by accident,” Gard said. “The ball’s moving. We played pretty well inside-out. We were able to touch the post, whether it was driving and kicking, touching the post and playing from within there. For the most part, we took pretty good shots. And when you take good shots, I trust if you give us enough of them, we’re probably going to knock a few down.”

More Big Ten

►No. 20 Ohio State 77, UCLA 70: At Cleveland, Duane Washington Jr. hit two free throws in the final minute and finished with 14 points, Zed Key had 11 points and six rebounds and CJ Walker scored 10 points for the Buckeyes (6-1), who bounced back from a 70-67 loss at Purdue on Dec. 16. Neither team led by more than six points until the final minute.

UCLA (5-2) ended a five-game winning streak. It built a 54-48 lead on Johnny Juzang’s 3-pointer with 12:35 left. Cody Riley scored 15 points and Juzang had 13 for the Bruins.

Eugene Brown III nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner to put Ohio State in front for good at 66-63. The freshman made another 3 from the same spot with 4:27 remaining to extend the Buckeyes’ advantage to 69-65.

Tyger Campbell’s free throw pulled UCLA within 73-68 with 2:46 left, and neither team scored again until Washington’s free throws with 51 seconds left made it a three-possession game.

Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell had nine points and three rebounds in his return after missing two games with an illness unrelated to COVID-19. The sophomore, who leads the team on both categories, fouled out with 7:21 left.

The Buckeyes led 39-38 at halftime behind seven points apiece from Liddell and junior Musa Jallow. Juzang and junior Jules Bernard each had eight points for the Bruins.

Ohio State was initially scheduled to play No. 22 North Carolina, while UCLA was paired up with Kentucky. The matchups were changed Wednesday by promoter Intersport to align the opponents with the most similar COVID-19 testing protocols.

The Tar Heels beat the Wildcats 75-63 in the first game of the afternoon. No fans were permitted inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, which hosted the event for the initial time.

►Indiana 68, Butler 60: Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 21 points and Armaan Franklin scored 20 and Indiana beat depleted Butler in a Crossroads Classic Challenge game.

Jackson-Davis’ dunk with 3:07 left gave Indiana a 66-51 lead.

Aljami Durham scored 11 points for the Hoosiers (5-2) and Race Thompson 10. IU finished 25-for-47 (53%) shooting but missed nine of 20 from the foul line.

The Bulldogs (1-2) played just their third game of the season as the program only recently emerged from an extended hiatus due to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Butler transfer Bo Hodges was deemed academically ineligible and guards Campbell Donovan and Aaron Thompson, along with forwards Christian David, Scooby Johnson, and Mike Parker were all out due to injury.

Butler put up a first-half fight despite just seven players in uniform. Butler trailed 37-32 on 14-of-26 shooting (54%) along with five 3-pointers at halftime.

Fortunes, however, changed for Butler when it shot just 8 for 30 after intermission. Jair Bolden led Butler with 20 points, and JaKobe Coles, Bryce Golden and Myles Tate each scored 10.

As for the Hoosiers, along with North Carolina and Stanford, they’re among the only Power 5 teams to play at least five of their first seven non-conference, home games on an away or neutral court.

►Purdue 88, Notre Dame 78: Sasha Stefanovic and Eric Hunter Jr. each scored 18 and Purdue beat Notre Dame in a Crossroads Classic Challenge game.

Stefanovic started the game with a 3-pointer, and with 7:12 left to play, buried a 3 for a 72-61 lead and Purdue (6-2) led by double figures the rest of the way. Stefanovic was 6-for-8 shooting including 5 for 7 from 3-point range.

Hunter finished 4 for 7 from 3-point range and distributed eight assists. Trevion Williams scored 14 points and Mason Gillis scored 12 for the Boilermakers. Purdue made half their 28 3-point attempts.

Trey Wertz led the Irish (2-4) with 27 points and made half of his 10 3-point attempts. Cormac Ryan scored 14 points, Nate Laszewski 13 and Nikola Djogo 11.

Purdue led 47-42 at halftime, and a 6-2 spurt to start the second half extended its lead to nine. Notre Dame countered with a 3 from Dane Goodwin and two more from Djogo to tie 53-53, but the Irish wouldn’t gain the lead.

With the win, the Boilermakers moved their record to 33-7 in the month of December since the 2015-16 season.