MADISON – The Badgers looked fresh coming off of their longest break of the season. Friday night’s 90-37 win over FAMU was their first game since December 14th when they defeated UW-Green Bay.
FAMU, who fell to 2-11 on the season with the defeat, was simply overmatched by the Badgers. The Badgers were open behind the three-point line all night, and pretty much everyone on the team was able to get what they wanted in the paint. The Badgers were impressive on the defensive end, although against not much competition. The Rattlers shot a rough 14/54 from the field, while the Badgers were 34/65.
FAMU lost to Samford by 20 points just last night, and never had much of a chance in Friday night’s contest. The Badgers jumped out to an 8-0 lead within minutes of tip-off, and never looked back from that. Wisconsin pushed their lead up to 20 in the first half behind Bronson Koenig’s second three of the game.
The game was essentially over at halftime, with the Badgers leading 43-22 at the break. Koenig and Vitto Brown, who sang the National Anthem with his family before the game, led the Badgers in scoring at eight a piece. The Badgers moved the ball well with Nigel Hayes and Zak Showalter both totaling three helpers at the break.
With the big lead, Greg Gard was able to go to his bench early and often. Khalil Iverson, Jordan Hill, D’Mitrik Trice, and Charles Thomas all scored during the first half. Trice knocked down a pair of threes and continued to shine off the bench.
Things would go from bad to worse for the Rattlers after halftime, as they were only able to muster up five points in nearly the first 15 minutes of the second half. The Badgers again had a solid team effort, with no one player doing all of the heavy lifting. FAMU’s production plummeted, shooting just 5/25 from the field after halftime.
The play of the game came from Ethan Happ, as he disrupted a pass and then flipped it behind his back to Trice for an easy lay-in. The next possession, Brevin Pritzl would have a breakaway left-handed slam.
The Badgers didn’t need much from their “Big Three” of Happ, Koenig, and Hayes. All three were under their scoring averages and only combined for 22 points. They were never truly needed, however, as the Badgers were just bigger, faster, and better than the Rattlers. Vitto Brown had one of his best performances of the year with 11 points on 3/5 shooting from the field. Brown also had eight rebounds.
“I was just tired of being 6’8″ and in good shape and not getting any rebounds,” Brown said.
D’Mitrik Trice continued his solid shooting after the break, hitting two more threes in the second half. Trice finished with 14 points – a team high – on 4/5 shooting from the three-point line.
“I knocked down my first shot and it just got rolling from there,” Trice said.
The entire bench mob was involved in Friday night’s game as they saw some extended action. In total, 13 Badgers scored. Brevin Pritzl impressed with the flashy dunk, and totaled six points in two boards. Charles Thomas also chipped in 11 points of his own. Andy Van Vliet scored nine points, all off of three-pointers.
The game served as the final tune-up game before heading into Big Ten play for the Badgers. The Badgers play 11-2 Rutgers on December 27th, before heading to Bloomington and Lafayette to play Indiana and Purdue on the road.
“The mountain gets a lot steeper,” Greg Gard said of Big Ten play approaching. “The level of competition increases. You’re going to see teams that know each other much better.”