Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - The second-ranked Wisconsin Badgers will try to get rid of the rancid taste of defeat from their mouths, as they play their first true road game of the season on Saturday at Marquette.
Wisconsin had been cruising right along, posting seven straight victories to tip off the 2014-15 campaign and ascending all the way up to No. 2 in latest AP poll. However, the fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils had to go and spoil the party, as they beat the Badgers on their own floor this past Wednesday, 80-70, as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The loss snapped UW's 24-game winning streak against non-conference foes during the regular season.
Marquette comes in sporting a 4-3 record on the young season, its first with Steve Wojciechowski at the helm. The Golden Eagles did manage to win two of three games played at the Orlando Classic last week, including a 67-59 decision against Tennessee in their most recent outing. This bout marks the first of five straight MU will play at home, where it is 2-1 on the season.
Wisconsin topped Marquette in last year's encounter in Madison, 70-64, thereby extending its lead in the all-time series to 65-55.
Duke shot the ball extremely well in Wednesday's showdown with the Badgers, hitting 65.2 percent of its field goal attempts, which included a 7-of-12 showing from 3-point range. Wisconsin wound up draining 9-of-21 long-range launches, but shot just 40.7 percent from the floor overall. The home team managed to keep the game by close by going 17-of-21 at the foul line, and by committing only eight turnovers. Traevon Jackson did his best to keep the Badgers in it by scoring a game-high 25 points thanks to a 7-of-12 effort from the field, which featured three treys, as well as a perfect 8-of-8 performance at the charity stripe. Frank Kaminsky finished with 17 points and nine rebounds in the losing cause.
For the season, Kaminsky (16.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 17 blocks) has lived up to the hype after being named the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year. He is one of four double-digit scorers for coach Bo Ryan's club, as Nigel Hayes (12.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Sam Dekker (11.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and Jackson (10.5 ppg, 3.0 apg) are all making key contributions for the Badgers, who average 74 ppg while permitting only 54.2 ppg. In addition, Wisconsin owns favorable margins in rebounding (+7.1) and turnovers (+3.8), while being credited with nearly twice as many assists as the opposition (115-63).
Duane Wilson drained five 3-pointers in scoring 30 points to help lead Marquette past Tennessee in the third-place game at the Orlando Classic last Sunday. It was the second time in three tilt that a Marquette player hit for at least 30 points, as Matt Carlino dropped in a tournament-record 38 in Thursday's 72-70 win over Georgia Tech. Derrick Wilson chipped in 11 points against the Volunteers, who missed the mark on 17 of their 20 3-point attempts. Marquette was hammered on the boards, 39-22, but shot 53.5 percent from the field, committed only nine turnovers, and outscored UT at the free- throw line, 15-4.
Wilson (14.0 ppg), Carlino (13.1 ppg, 3.9 apg) and Juan Anderson (12.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg) are all averaging double figures in the scoring column for a Marquette team that is putting up nearly the same number of points (71.4 ppg) as it allows (71.3 ppg). The Golden Eagles are yielding almost a 50 percent shooting effort to the opposition, while hitting 45.2 percent of their total shots, which includes a 36.1 percent effort from beyond the arc. They are being outworked on the glass by more than eight caroms per contest, but they are +5.7 in turnover differential.