No. 23 Wisconsin (1-0) opened their regular season with an impressive 87-47 defeat of Southeastern Louisiana (0-1).
Senior Forward Jared Berggren led Wisconsin with 19 points in the season opener.
The Badgers have now won 11 consecutive season openers. Including Sunday afternoon, the average margin of victory in those 11 openers is 29.5 points
Senior Forward Jared Berggren led the way with 19 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks in just 24 minutes of action.
"I feel like I played alright," said Berggren. "There's a couple in the first half when I didn't finish. I would have liked to finish a little stronger around the basket."
Wisconsin’s 87 points marked the Badgers’ largest scoring output since an 87-48 win over North Carolina State on Dec. 1, 2010. As a team, the Badgers hot 51.5 percent from the field.
Wisconsin opened the game on a 19-0 run and held Southeastern Louisiana scoreless over the game’s first 7 minutes, 23 seconds. UW hit its largest lead of the game, 41 points, twice in the late stages of the second half.
The Tigers' leading scorer from last season Brandon Fortenberry was held to just two points on 1-8 shooting, even though Wisconsin was without Junior Guard Josh Gasser, an all-league defensive selection from last season.
"We knew Fortenberry could score," Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan said. "We did a pretty good job of at times handing him off to the next guy, forcing him to squeeze into areas of the floor where he was uncomfortable."
Junior Guard Ben Brust was key in the defensive effort as well as on the glass. In addition to his defense on Fortenberry, Brust finished with a double-double of 14 points, and a career-high 11 rebounds in his first career start.
Brust had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
"Hustle, good hard cuts, putting his face on the ball in traffic," Ryan said about Brust's 11 rebounds. "You look at his size and you look at where he was in position for rebounds, he's got a big heart.
"He's a tough sucker. That's why he's out there, the minutes that he's getting. Oh yeah and he can make some shots too."
Wisconsin got an unexpected boost off their bench in the form of Senior Forward Mike Bruesewitz. After suffering a major laceration to his left leg, Bruesewitz was expected to be out at least two more weeks.
Coming off the bench the senior chipped in with 10 points and three rebounds in 13 minutes.
"Mike hasn't forgotten anything," said Ryan. The nice part is when you're injured you can be around practice, be around film work. He was in such good shape that Friday and Saturday, his first two practices, he was fine.
"Today he wasn't going to play 38 minutes, but that's Mike. It was so obvious in practice Friday and Saturday what he gives us. Now to have that back, we're very thankful."
In his much anticipated debut, heralded Freshman Sam Dekker came off the bench to give Wisconsin eight points and two assists in 17 minutes as well.
Wisconsin now turns their attention to Florida (1-0) as the Badgers will get a major road test in Gainesville. The Gators opened up their season today with a thrashing of Alcorn State. Tipoff between Florida and Wisconsin is scheduled for 6:00 PM Central.
Already have an account? Sign In