Men's basketball

Happ grabs milestone rebound as Badgers roll over Grambling State 84-53

Senior forward Ethan Happ grabbed his 1000th career rebound Saturday against Grambling State.

Image By: Ben Pickman

Oftentimes, the singularity of a veteran player’s greatness can be easily forgotten — it can take major milestones to jolt fans from their complacency and recognize a remarkable career. 

Senior forward Ethan Happ reached such a milestone Saturday, grabbing his 1000th career rebound as the No. 16 Badgers (2-0 Big Ten, 10-2 overall) rolled Grambling State (0-0 SWAC, 6-7 overall) at the Kohl Center, 84-53.

Happ, who earlier this season became the all-time leading rebounder in program history, became the first Badger — and only 15th Big Ten player — to reach quadruple digits in boards. He also scored 19 points, including an encouraging seven of 10 from the free throw line. Redshirt sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice added 14, while Nate Reuvers and Kobe King each added 10.

Grambling State put up a fight early, going on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 22 with seven minutes left in the first half. The Badgers answered with a 15-2 run of their own, taking a lead they would never relinquish. Outscoring the Tigers 23-4 to open the second period, they cruised the rest of the way. 

UW knocked down eight three-pointers on the day and won the rebounding battle 41-26. They shot nearly 77 percent (20-for-26) from the free throw line, a welcome feat for a team that has struggled mightily from the stripe in recent years. 

Dallas Polk-Hillard led Grambling State with 17 points, which fell below .500 on the year. Lasani Johnson had 14. They were the only two players to top five points on the day. 

The Badgers reached 10 wins in only 12 games; their only two losses have come to top teams in close games. Last year, it took 20 games to reach 10 victories, which didn’t occur until January 19. 

Next Saturday will be Wisconsin’s final game of 2018, as the team travels to face Western Kentucky in a true road game. The matchup will begin at 4:30.

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