Wisconsin’s offense started off hot and kept the Green Bay Phoenix (1-3) at arm’s length as the Badgers (4-1) went wire-to-wire to come away with the 88-70 win.
UW got off to a blistering pace, showing balance from the jump as they raced out to an 8-0 lead in the first minute.
Junior forward Nate Reuvers opened up with an and-one, junior forward Aleem Ford hit another layup and junior guard Brad Davison hit a three to punctuate that hot start and force Green Bay to call a timeout.
Green Bay rebounded after UW’s fast start to cut the lead to 27-21 with eight minutes left before senior Brevin Pritzl hit a three to take back some momentum. Pritzl’s triple was followed by back-to-back threes from sophomore guard Kobe King as Wisconsin pushed its lead to 36-21 and never looked troubled again.
The Badgers were hitting almost everything that first half, shooting 57 percent from the field and a prolific 10-for-19 from three. Even a last minute buzzer beater from the logo by Brevin Pritzl banked in to give Wisconsin a resounding 51-29 lead at the half.
The Phoenix came closer to the Badgers towards the end of the second half as Green Bay went on a 13-2 run to cut the lead to 12. But Wisconsin’s cushion held as the Badgers continued to spread the ball around offensively. UW had 24 assists on 32 field goals made, something that stood out to head coach Greg Gard.
“You don’t do that without being unselfish. We shared the ball exceptionally well, I’m proud of the guys and how they moved it,” Gard said.
Nate Reuvers led the way in scoring for UW with 19 as six Badgers — Reuvers, Davison, Ford, Pritzl, Kobe King and D’Mitrik Trice — finished in double figures for the second straight game.
Ford finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds and mirrored Gard’s comments on how important the unselfishness has been for the scoring.
“We did a really good job of having those ‘one-more’ passes and having shooters ready. A lot of guys are unselfish and will always make that ‘one-more’ pass,” Ford said.
Junior guard D’Mitrik Trice had a huge stat line with 11 points, 7 assists and a career-high 8 rebounds as he’s tried to make sure he stays aggressive.
“[Staying aggressive] not only opens up my scoring but it gets other guys the ball,” Trice said. “It definitely helps to have guys to knock those shots when I find them on the wing and in the corner.”
Brad Davison hit 3-of-6 from downtown en route to 15 points but limped off the court at the end of the first half. Davison might have looked hobbled, but after the game, Gard made clear he was totally fine.
“He made me put him back in. That shows you the toughness of that cat,” Gard said.
Wisconsin closed out their early home stand with four straight wins and an offense that is seemingly starting to click. The Badgers will take their show on the road to New York for their next two games, playing in the Legends Classic first against Richmond Spiders on Tuesday Nov. 25, and then against either the Auburn Tigers or New Mexico Lobos the next day.