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Rapid Reaction: No. 4 Wisconsin drubs Northwestern 81-58

Wisconsin shot lights out and rolled over Northwestern in the Cats' Big Ten home opener.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

From start to finish No. 4 Wisconsin thoroughly dominated Northwestern 81-58 in front of packed Welsh Ryan Arena Sunday night.

No. 4 Wisconsin shot a scalding 53 percent from the field and thoroughly dominated Northwestern 81-58 from start to finish in front of a packed Welsh Ryan Arena Sunday night.

With the win the Badgers move to 14-1 overall and remain tied atop the Big Ten standings. The Cats, on the other hand, fall to 10-5 on the season and 1-1 in conference.

Northwestern never really had a chance in this one. Led by junior Sam Dekker, who nailed his first four three-pointers of the contest, Wisconsin came out hot and never really cooled down. The Badgers made seven of their first 10 shots and five of their first six attempts from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the Cats struggled to find any sort of rhythm offensively, missing their first seven triples and shooting a measly 29 percent from the field in the first half to Wisconsin's 54 percent.

The Cats' now have a full week to prepare for Michigan State.

Three big things:

- Going into the game the matchup between seven footers Frank Kaminsky and Alex Olah was a point of emphasis. The Cats actually did a pretty good job of limiting Kaminsky, who finished with 16 points on 6-12 shooting and 10 boards. But it didn't matter. Wisconsin is such a well-rounded team that that it can still drop upwards of 80 points when its best player isn't dominating. The same obviously can not be said of Northwestern. Once again Olah failed to make a substantial positive impact. He got in foul trouble early and never really found a rhythm on the offensive end. In the first five minutes of the second half Olah arguably outplayed Kaminsky. The junior was very active on the offensive glass and extra aggressive with his post moves. But, as has been the case all season long, Olah failed to play assertively in a consistent fashion.

- Tre Demps was the only bright spot for Northwestern. The senior led all scorers with 17 points and continues to be the only Wildcat who can constantly create his own shot. In the first half Demps made half of Northwestern's field goals.  He shot 44 percent from the floor while the rest of his teammates shot 22 percent in the first 20 minutes. While this was only one game, Demps cannot be NU's only offensive option. Others such as Olah, Bryant McIntosh and Jershon Cobb need to step up and help Demps out. Northwestern can't be competitive in the Big Ten with just one dependable scoring option.

- This loss doesn't mean all that much because Wisconsin is one of the best teams in the nation and shot extremely well today. But that doesn't mean Northwestern can't improve on both ends of the floor. The Cats struggled all game defending the perimeter and continued to give great shooters like Dekker space. While the Cats had a below average shooting night, they also can do a much better job of creating higher percentage looks.