After a tune-up game to open the season against South Carolina State, Wisconsin (2-0) faced its first test of the season as Yale (0-2) came to town Sunday. The Badgers came out firing on all cylinders as they cruised to a 89-61 win over the Bulldogs.
After a stellar start to the season for redshirt sophomore forward Andy Van Vliet, who chipped in 18 points in the opener, the Belgian native struggled to find his groove and hit just 3-of-9 shots from the field, finishing with 13 points.
While Van Vliet failed to get going, though, it was junior forward Khalil Iverson that took over the scoring load for UW. In 22 minutes against South Carolina State, Iverson didn’t record a single shot attempt or point, but Sunday night he came alive, scoring a career-high 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting. He also offered the highlight of the game as he split the Bulldogs’ defense down the middle in the first half for a monster jam.
Badger Basketball is back— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) November 12, 2017
Khalil Iverson dunks are back#OnWisconsin || #BAdgers pic.twitter.com/arE5j5vT7v
Alex Copeland gave Yale a 3-2 lead 1:05 into the game, but a three from Van Vliet gave the Badgers a lead that they wouldn’t look back from, as they turned that two-point lead into a 21-point halftime margin.
Redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ was as reliable as ever in the win, registering 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting and a game-high 11 rebounds. He played just 23 minutes as the game was quickly in hand, but did manage to record his first ever 3-point attempt, which fell short of the mark.
UW was relentless in the paint all night, drawing 26 fouls and taking 26 free throws. The Badgers ultimately scored 46 of their 89 points in the paint and never stopped probing down low.
Redshirt sophomore guard Brevin Pritzl provided another strong all-around performance despite not filling up the scoring category. He scored six points on 2-of-5 shooting but grabbed six rebounds, second on the team, and two assists.
Four Badgers — Happ, Van Vliet, Iverson and sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice — scored in double figures on the night.
Iverson and Trice have 31 points on a combined 14-of-16 from the field. Wow.— DailyCardinal Sports (@Cardinal_Sports) November 13, 2017
The win was encouraging for the young Badgers, who will welcome No. 17 Xavier to the Kohl Center Thursday at 7:30 p.m.