Recap: Wisconsin vs. Montana
Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - Ryan Evans led four Badgers in double figures with 18 points as Wisconsin cruised to a 73-49 second-round victory over Montana at University Arena on Thursday.
Evans added eight rebounds, while Jordan Taylor filled the stat sheet with 17 points, eight boards, and six assists to pace the Wisconsin (25-9) attack. Josh Gasser netted 12 points for the fourth-seeded Badgers, while Rob Wilson tallied 10 points in the win.
"I'm just coming out trying to do anything I can to help my team win," said Taylor after the victory. "I felt like I got some open looks there, especially in the first half. It's the same for me as it is for everybody else. If you get an open look, you've just got to step in and knock it down."
Wisconsin will face Vanderbilt in the third round of the East Region on Saturday after the Commodores defeated Harvard 79-70 on Thursday.
Art Steward scored a team-high 18 points and Will Cherry chipped in nine for the Grizzlies (25-7). Montana had won 14 straight entering the contest after winning the Big Sky tourney to claim its spot in the NCAA Tournament.
The Grizzlies remained close for a large portion of the first half until Evans sank a jumper to spark a 9-3 Badgers' surge to close out the half with Wisconsin holding a 39-29 edge.
Both teams finished over 40 percent from the field in a hot-shooting first half, but Wisconsin took advantage from long range, connecting on 6-of-12 from three-point range while Montana hit only one of its six attempts from deep.
Wisconsin broke the game open early in the second, as a 7-1 run to open the half found the Badgers with a comfortable 46-30 lead just over four minutes into the second half.
Montana got as close as 10 after back-to-back triples from Mathias Ward and Cherry, but the Grizzlies would get no closer as Taylor finished a layup and Mike Bruesewitz added a trey and a layup to extend the lead to 17 midway through the second.
"When you're down at times, it can be frustrating," remarked Cherry, "but Coach Tinkle has been preaching to us poise and character throughout the whole season, so that's what we pride ourselves on, being blue-collared players, and we kept on fighting for 40 (minutes)."
The lead reached 24 at its highest point as Montana never threatened down the stretch.Game Notes
Wisconsin finished 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) from long range, while Montana connected on 3-of-9 (33.3) from deep...The Badgers outrebounded Montana 32-19...Wisconsin's Jared Berggren finished with five points and seven blocks.