Trice, UW dust Florida A&M in final warmup game before conference play
Bronson Koenig led UW with 22 minutes Friday night as every Badger got in on the action.Image By: Katie Scheidt
Final exams might have taken up much of the No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers’ (11-2) time over the past week, but Friday night, in UW’s final tune-up before Big Ten conference play, the Badgers passed any possible test, breezing by Florida A&M (2-11), 90-37.
After UW’s victory over Green Bay last Wednesday, the Badgers had the weekend off to prepare for finals. But the Badgers showed no signs of rust after the extended break.
Redshirt sophomore forward Ethan Happ opened the scoring and UW scored on each of its first four possessions to jump out to an early lead.
The Badgers led by ten points just five minutes into the game and pushed the lead to 20 with less than four minutes to go in the half.
UW picked apart the Rattlers’ 2-3 zone, reprising their stellar performance against the Syracuse zone from weeks earlier.
Florida A&M dressed a mere eight players and looked fatigued throughout the night as they struggled to mount any semblance of a comeback against UW. The Rattlers, who have now lost ten straight games, had reason to be worn down. They arrived in Madison Friday morning after losing to Sanford University Thursday night.
The Badgers extended their lead to 41 with just under ten minutes to go in the second half, allowing head coach Greg Gard to rest his starters for the remainder of the game.
Every Badger played Friday night, with senior guard Bronson Koenig leading the team with a pedestrian 22 minutes of action. All but two of UW’s 15 players scored as Wisconsin’s bench closed out the wire-to-wire win for the Badgers.
Freshman guard D’Mitrik Trice led the Badgers with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range off the bench. Senior forward Vitto Brown added 11 points and his season-high eight rebounds in one of his better offensive performances of the season.
Any questions about UW’s layoffs were answered Friday night, but Tuesday evening, UW faces its first conference foe of the season against visiting Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights fell 72-61 at Seton Hall Friday night, but are 11-2 under first-year coach Steve Pikiell.
The Badgers’ toughest tests are looming on the schedule, and Friday night’s victory will end up looking more and more like a practice test as the season progresses. Still, UW had to handle its business Friday night, and as any student would attest, an “A” on a practice exam never hurt anyone’s confidence.