UW MBB: Penn State’s recipe: tough, aggressive, more balanced

UWBadgers.com Senior Writer

MINNEAPOLIS — Although it took only 27 seconds for Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes to draw two fouls on Minnesota's Eric Curry — one a shooting foul that resulted in a couple of made free throws in the first half — Hayes claimed afterwards that he wasn't aware that Curry was a first-year player.

"He was a freshman? I didn't even notice that," said Hayes, who clearly took advantage of his four years of Big Ten experience in the matchup despite his protest to the contrary. "I was just listening to the coaching staff, my parents and close friends that I need to be on the attack more."

In matching his career high in field goal attempts (18), Hayes was measured and efficient in his shot selection and shot making during last Saturday's 78-76 overtime win at Minnesota. In the first half, he was 5-of-10. In the second half, he was 4-of-8. He finished with 21 points; his league high this season.

"I thought it was pretty good, he really took his time," Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard said of Hayes' decision-making on the offensive end against the Gophers. "For the most part, we did a decent job of being patient and taking what the defense was going to give us.

"Anytime we tried to isolate Nigel, he was pretty focused on attacking, whether that was coincidental through the Swing offense that he got to the post or the fact that we did a lot of things for him and Ethan (Happ) to intentionally put them there.

"In both cases, our players did a good job of recognizing who was available and who was open and those two guys did a good job of making decisions and not forcing things in trying to come away with something each time."

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