Five Takeaways From Wisconsin's 96-59 Victory Over Houston Baptist

Five Takeaways From Wisconsin's 96-59 Victory Over Houston Baptist

Basketball

Five Takeaways From Wisconsin's 96-59 Victory Over Houston Baptist

MADISON, Wis. – Five things that stood out from Wisconsin’s 96-59 victory over Houston Baptist at the Kohl Center Saturday night.

1, Happ Wisconsin All-Time Rebound Leader

Coming into Saturday night, Ethan Happ trailed only Claude Gregory (1978-1981) by five rebounds on the Badgers’ all-time rebounding list. He broke that record easily in the first half, collecting his sixth rebound with 9:38 remaining in the first half for his 905th career rebound. He finished with 12 rebounds to go along with 15 points and six assists.

“It’s special to set yourself a part at such a storied school like Wisconsin, with so many great players that have come through here, in any category,” Happ said. “But rebounding is definitely a crucial part of the game. It’s definitely special to me.”

2, Balanced Scoring

After Tuesday’s road win at Xavier, one of the concerns for the team was who else could step up and contribute outside of D’Mitrik Trice, Brad Davison, and Happ? UW got some answers with 10 players scoring against Houston Baptist, including five in double figures. This will be a big key to success throughout the year, especially the three games in three days next week in the Bahamas. When UW has at least six guys contributing in the scoring column, it will more than likely equate to a Wisconsin win.

“I know Xavier everyone made a big deal out of the three guys scoring, but that’s just how it played out that game,” Happ said. “We have a lot of legitimate options that can do a lot of things offensively.”

3, Lights-Out Shooting

With a considerable size advantage inside, Wisconsin scored 52 points in the paint and saw its shooting success translate to all areas of the floor, resulting in a 60.3 percent shooting night. UW shot 66.7 percent in a first half that opened up a 50-24 halftime lead. UW also hit seven 3-pointers and went 19-for-25 shooting, including 7-for-7 in the first half.

4, Reuvers’ Big Game

Through the first two games this year, Nate Reuvers had eight total points. He nearly doubled that Saturday, scoring a career-high 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting and a 3-pointer. The uptick in scoring didn’t have to do with his minutes either (the sophomore played more in UW’s first two games), but had to with an aggressive approach. This was the first game thus far where Reuvers wasn’t afraid to put his head down and score. He needs to keep this mentality so Happ isn’t the only post threat that Wisconsin has.

“He took advantage of being in good position,” head coach Greg Gard said. “I think any time you hit a shot early, or a couple shots early, that ignites confidence, specifically in a younger player. I thought he did a good job of finishing around the rim, got to the free throw line, knocked down the three early. It’s just another younger guy that as he gets confidence and grows, adjust to his additional weight and strength, he’s still young. Anytime you can get a positive experience, it helps regardless of the situation we’re in.”

5, Strong on D

Once again, the Badgers put together a nice defensive performance in holding Houston Baptist to 38.6 percent shooting. Wisconsin also forced 15 turnovers, leading to 18 UW points, and didn’t allow a scoring run to exceed five points. This is the second time this year the Badgers have held the opposing team under 40 percent shooting from the field.

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