SportsWisconsin Badgers


Wahl leads balanced attack as No. 21 Wisconsin trounces Nebraska 88-72

Nebraska Wisconsin Basketball
Posted at 9:39 AM, Jan 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-08 10:39:13-05

MADISON (AP) — Tyler Wahl scored 17 points to lead five Wisconsin players in double figures and the 21st-ranked Badgers beat Nebraska 88-72 on Saturday to snap the Cornhuskers’ five-game winning streak.

Wisconsin (11-3, 3-0 Big Ten) has won four straight and 10 of 11.

Chucky Hepburn had 13 points, Connor Essegian scored 12 and AJ Storr and John Blackwell scored 10 each as the Badgers never trailed. Wisconsin shot 55% from the floor and went 13 of 26 from beyond the arc while posting its highest 3-point basket total of the season.

Keisei Tominaga had 17 points, Rienk Mast scored 16 and Brice Williams scored 10 for Nebraska (12-3, 2-2). Williams was helped off the floor after appearing to hurt his ankle late in the second half.

Wisconsin's depth made a big difference. The Badgers had a 36-18 edge in bench scoring.

Essegian led the bench production by making the most of an early opportunity and going 4 of 7 on 3-point attempts.

After scoring 11.7 points per game as a freshman last season to rank third on the team, Essegian struggled with a back injury early this season and saw his playing time drop dramatically. Four days after playing just 21 seconds in an 83-72 victory over Iowa, Essegian came off the bench less than eight minutes into Saturday’s game and immediately made an impact with his shooting.


Nebraska: The Cornhuskers shot 49.1% from the floor and 12 of 26 on 3-point attempts but never had much of a chance because of their defensive issues. Nebraska had averaged 15.5 steals over its last two games but had just four on Saturday.

Wisconsin: This is Wisconsin's second straight 3-0 start in Big Ten competition. Last year, the Badgers went 6-11 the rest of the way in the Big Ten and ended up in the NIT. This year's team is deeper and therefore seems more capable of avoiding a late-season fade. But the 3-point outburst Saturday was surprising. Wisconsin had gone just 8 of 31 from 3-point range over its last two games and was making just 32.4% of its 3-point attempts this season.


Wisconsin should move up a few spots and get into the top 20 in Monday's poll. A win could have enabled Nebraska to earn its first Top 25 ranking since the week of Dec. 31, 2018.


Nebraska: Hosts No. 1 Purdue on Tuesday.

Wisconsin: At Ohio State on Wednesday.