MADISON -- One rebound, one assist.
That's how close Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor were on Saturday to posting a double-double, and a triple-double against South Dakota. Instead, they settled for a combined triple-double with 49 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists.
"Their two pretty good players certainly stepped up in this game," Coyotes head coach Dave Boots said. "We could not contain Taylor's penetration, he got to the basket whenever he wanted to, and Leuer is, he's a lights out offensive player."
Leuer led the way offensively, putting up a career-high 29 points on the undersized and overmatched Coyotes. He came up one rebound shy of the double-double, however, finishing with nine.
Of those 29 points, 20 came in the first half as Leuer carried the team to a 42-37 lead at the break. Leuer hit 6-of-11 attempts from beyond the arc, while shooting 11-for-21 overall.
"I definitely worked on that in the off-season, just trying to improve my shot and make it more consistent," Leuer said. "But basically, just taking the looks that the defense gives me and trying to make the right reads.
"It's mainly just spotting up, getting my feet set and getting down and ready to shoot it. I think that's the biggest difference."
For Taylor's part, he had a game-high 11 rebounds, while finishing second behind Leuer with 20 points. With nine assists, though, he came up one shy of what would have been the first triple-double in school history.
As for the blame on not getting to 10 assists? There are two easy explanations: the one most people see, and the one offered by head coach Bo Ryan.
"The reason he came up short was because he had one turnover in the first half," Ryan said. "If he'd have taken care of the ball and made the correct pass, he'd have had a triple-double.
"But as a result of that one turnover, because somebody mentioned Mike Bruesewitz missed that last jumper, and I didn't want poor Mike to feel that it was him that cost him the triple-double. There were other opportunities guys could've hit shots."
What did Taylor think of that explanation?
"Yeah, I'll buy that, it probably was," Taylor said. "I think I missed Mike under the basket one or two times, too. So I probably could've got it there, but
I think I actually yelled at Mike for taking that shot too, so early in the shot clock when we were up."
As Ryan alluded to, the reason most observers would offer for Taylor coming up one short is missed jumper by Mike Bruesewitz, off a dish from the junior point guard with just 1:17 remaining in the game.
Taylor had picked up assist No. 9, a new career-high, on the Badgers' previous possession, and looked to be headed for the triple-double clinching dish on the play. Instead, he settled for his first career double-double, while hitting a three-pointer with 28 seconds to go to reach 20 points.
With the performance, Taylor is now averaging 15.1 points per game, with a solid 3.6 assist-to-turnover ratio that has made for a seamless transition into the Badgers' starting point guard role.
"He showed tonight just how he runs the show," Leuer said. "He's just able to get into the lane and just cause so many different problems for the defense that they have to help on him and he just makes great decisions with the ball too. He finds the open guy, and he's just a fun point guard to play with."
Wilson effective in limited action
Despite his apparent full recovery from a hamstring injury that kept him out of Wisconsin's first two regular season games, junior Rob Wilson continues to see limited playing time.
Against the Coyotes on Saturday, Wilson saw the floor for just seven minutes, all of which came in the first half. While he played more minutes off the bench than anyone other than Tim Jarmusz, his effectiveness on the offensive end made the lack of playing time seem like an odd decision.
In those seven minutes, Wilson went 3-for-3 from the floor, with one rebound and two assists. According to his head coach, though, it was his defense that earned him an extended stay on the bench.
"It's certain things that we do that we say and when you don't do it, then you need to watch," Ryan said. "It's pretty simple. But that's for us to deal with. I have rules on defense and if guys aren't playing as much against certain teams, it might be because defensively they don't handle certain things real well."
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