Hayes, Koenig lead Badgers in blowout opener of Central Arkansas

After a sluggish start in their first regular season game, the No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (1-0), thanks in large part to their bench, cruised by Central Arkansas (0-1) 79-47.

The Badgers jumped out to an early 13-3 lead, but a lull in the middle of the first half cut the lead to two points with just over seven minutes to play in the period.

An assist from sophomore forward Charles Thomas to senior guard Bronson Koenig, though, extended the lead to five and back-to-back three pointers from freshman guard D’Mitrik Trice three minutes later helped extend the Badgers’ lead to double digits. From there, they never looked back.

After taking a ten-point lead into the locker room, the Badgers came out firing in the second half. UW opened the half on a 13-2 run, mostly thanks to eight points from senior forward Nigel Hayes. After struggling from the three point line in the first half, the Badgers made three of their first six threes to open the second half.

UW, led by Koenig and Hayes, continued to pull away from the Bears, opening up a 31-point lead with just under five minutes to go in the game. Koenig finished the game with a team-high 16 points in just 24 minutes of action.

Hayes added 14 points, five assists, and four rebounds of his own in the Badgers’ blowout victory.

The Badgers head to Omaha on Tuesday to take on Creighton. That game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m.

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