The Butler defense was swarming in the first half, keeping Wisconsin from finding open shots and making the Badgers work every time down the floor. It wasn't fancy -- simple and man-to-man -- but the Butler defense has been outstanding, as expected. With hard-nosed defense and timely offense, the Bulldogs hold a 33-24 halftime lead over Wisconsin.
Nothing summed the half up better than Wisconsin's final trip down the floor. Jordan Taylor found a crease and made his way for the bucket, only to see his lay-in rejected at the buzzer. Taylor has been ice-cold from the field and the free throw line, connecting on just 2-8 shots from the floor and from the 2-7 line en route to six first half points. Keaton Nankivil picked up the slack with a team-high eight points, including two three-pointers, in the first half. Jon Leuer had a team-high five rebounds, but had just three points in the half.
Shawn Vanzant scored a game-high nine points for the Bulldogs, but was forced to have a seat for the final four minutes of the half after picking up his second foul. Matt Howard had eight points, Shelvin Mack had five and Khyle Marshall had four points off the bench.