The Wisconsin Badgers' offense woke up from its slumber on Thursday night, and they staved off a team that many had as a trendy upset pick in the tournament's opening round, as they defeated the Belmont Bruins by a score of 72-58 in West Regional action in Tuscon, Arizona.
Jon Leuer scored 22 points on the evening to lead all scorers, hitting 7-of-12 from the field and all seven of his free throws. Jordan Taylor added 21 for the Badgers, including hitting 5-of-9 from long range.
For Belmont, Mick Hedgepeth scored 17 in the losing effort, and Kerron Johnson added 13. The Atlantic Sun champions never had a lead of greater than three points over the Badgers, and didn't get the lead back at all after a Leuer three-pointer made the score 26-25 with 3:35 remaining in the first half.
Wisconsin scored more points in each half of this game than they did in their last game, when they fell 36-33 to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Badgers will now move on to play the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday. Kansas State knocked off Utah State this evening by a score of 73-68.