MADISON- Just minutes before the Badgers’ basketball team took the floor Saturday night, their fellow student-athletes on the football team won a triple-overtime thriller at Purdue. Luckily for Wisconsin fans, the basketball game could have been called after about 10 minutes, as the Badgers dominated Houston Baptist, en route to a 96-59 victory.
Wisconsin started off the game hot, with easy buckets from their post players, Ethan Happ and Nate Reuvers. Reuvers looked the most comfortable he has all season with a quick three, and Happ was his usual self on Saturday night.
Khalil Iverson, Charles Thomas and the rest of the team played well in the first half, but it was really the Ethan Happ show in Madison.
The big man started off the game 6/6 from the field for 12 points, scoring with ease. On top of that, Happ grabbed nine boards in just the first half, making him the all-time leading rebounder in Wisconsin Badgers’ history, with 906 and counting.
At the break, Wisconsin led 50-24 and shot a scorching 66% from the field in the first half. Wisconsin also won the rebounding battle 17-10, and all nine Badgers that played in the half scored for Wisconsin.
Trevor Anderson scored his first points as a Badger on Saturday, with two layups, one off a putback and the other on a fastbreak.
Wisconsin did a great job of looking for the open man, making the extra pass, and taking advantage of their size over the Huskies. The Badgers did turn it over 20% of their possessions in the first half, which was one of the few negatives throughout the game.
In the second half, Wisconsin extended its lead to 38 points at one point, thanks to a major team effort and balanced attack on both sides of the floor.
Nate Reuvers set a new career-high with 15 points, and Thomas made the most of his minutes as well with 10 points to go along with six rebounds. Brevin Pritzl led the team with 17 points.
The Badgers emptied the bench with over five minutes to play and a 30 point advantage, but this one was over in the first half. Wisconsin shot nearly 60% from the field, won the rebounding and turnover advantages, and had nearly every player score for the team.
Happ finished the night with 12 rebounds, and was asked about holding the all-time rebounding record after the game.
“It’s special to set yourself apart at such a storied school like Wisconsin, with so many great players that have come through here,” Happ explained. “In any category, but rebounding is definitely a crucial part of the game, so it’s definitely special to me, but I’m also just glad we got the win.”
With the win, Wisconsin improves to 3-0 on the season, and will have three days off before they play in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving Break.