Wisconsin rewrites record books

first_imgUniversity of Wisconsin men’s basketball head coach Bo Ryan entered the post-game press conference with an ice bag in hand following his team’s 92-39 annihilation of Southern (0-2, 0-0 SWAC). The coach then joked about being hurt watching a play by guard Mickey Perry, who performed a dizzying succession of moves, feigning a neck injury. The laugher on the court was punctuated by laughter in the media room.”I actually hurt myself,” Ryan said, punctuating the statement with a several ooh’s and groans. “I have never seen 18 moves on one play in my life.”In what many are hoping will be a memorable season in Wisconsin basketball, the Badgers made a little bit of history early on in the season, as the 53-point margin of victory it was the second largest ever for UW, only trailing a 55-point win over Denver Dec. 14, 1988.The beating was so sound that Southern head coach Rob Spivery questioned how much the Badgers (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) could’ve gotten out of such a win.”It is very disappointing for us to travel the distance we traveled so far and not compete,” Spivery said. “I’m not sure if Bo and his team got anything out of this tonight, because of the competitiveness of our team.”The Badgers took over the game early, jumping out to a 32-8 lead, making 13 of their first 18 shots and burying the Jaguars before they even had chance to refill their Gatorade bottles. UW built a 50-19 halftime lead by spreading the ball around and taking advantage of Southern’s flimsy ballhandling.The Jaguars coughed up the ball 13 times in the first half alone, and Wisconsin capitalized, outscoring Southern 20-0 off turnovers in the first half alone and 37-6 for the game. The Jags ended the game with just three assists and 25 turnovers.”We had too many unforced turnovers,” Spivery said. “For some reason, we did not protect the basketball.””[Southern] was young and some of the decisions they made obviously helped us,” Ryan said, adding that he was pleased that his team managed those turnovers without getting out of their regular defense. “It wasn’t because we were doing things that we don’t normally do defensively.”The Badgers didn’t take their foot off the gas in the second half, adding 22 points onto their lead and making a run for 100 points, before slowing down in the final minutes.Three Wisconsin players — Alando Tucker, Brian Butch and Michael Flowers — scored in double figures with 16, 12 and 11 points respectively, and four more chipped in eight points.The Badger offense was cruelly efficient, shooting 62.3 percent for the game. “A lot of time shooting percentages is what kind of shots you’re settling for,” Ryan said. “I thought we were settling for very good shots. And they were going in.”For their part, the Badgers believed that they gained valuable experience in game.”Some teams, a lot of times when they get up like that they start to lose focus,” senior guard Kammron Taylor said. “Even though we were up a lot, we still tried to work on things that are going to help us down the stretch against tougher competition.””I thought we stayed true to the game,” Ryan said. “When you have a lead like that, a lot of times you get bad habits and you do things that take away from what you’ve been working on.”The win over Southern was the first of four games Wisconsin will play this week as part of the South Padre Island Invitational, which will continue in Madison Tuesday night when UW takes on Delaware State before finishing in South Padre, Texas, over Thanksgiving Break. The busy week is welcomed by players.”I’d rather play games than practice. Our practices are hard,” Tucker said, also appreciating the experience factor that goes into playing in-season tournaments. “When you can play a tournament early on, it prepares you for what can happen in March.”last_img

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