The Wisconsin Badgers lost to the Northwestern Wildcats in a 66-63 loss on Monday evening, losing their fourth in five games and dropping to 4-4 in the conference.
After losses to the Illinois Fighting Illini, Michigan State Spartans, and the Indiana Hoosiers, the Badgers finally got back on track with a 63-60 win against the Penn State Nittany Lions last week, but came on the wrong side of a close game against Northwestern.
Here are the quick takeaways from Wisconsin’s loss on Monday.
Wisconsin has a free throw issue. They came into the game hitting a pedestrian 66.7% of their free throws, and they shot 9/16 from the stripe against Northwestern, which ultimately cost them the game in a three-point deficit.
The issue? It’s coming from their stars.
Chucky Hepburn hit 1/3 of his free throws, while Tyler Wahl shot 2/5 from the line and Steven Crowl hit 2/4 of his shots.
The Badgers shoot the ball from deep well, but they can’t hit free throws consistently. It’s perplexing.
The Badgers continue to showcase a streaky offense, especially in the paint.
Wisconsin came into the game shooting 42.6% from the field, while hitting over 36% of their threes.
The Badgers hit only 8/14 of their layups, with Tyler Wahl, Steven Crowl, Chucky Hepburn, and Connor Essegian combining to shoot 14/44 (31.8%).
Northwestern guards Chase Audige and Boo Buie came to play.
Buie scored a game-high 20 points on 7/15 shooting, while Audige hit 6/15 of his shots for 16 points.
On a night where both teams needed their top players to score, Northwestern’s duo showed up just enough to secure the win.
Both players shot above their season averages and ended with a positive plus-minus, while playing almost the entire game.