The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team took a trip down to Cincinnati for the 2018 Gavitt Tipoff Games Tuesday night and took care of the Xavier Musketeers 77–68, largely thanks to forward Ethan Happ’s 30 points.
The win snapped Xavier’s 41-game home non-conference winning streak.
The Badgers’ held the lead throughout the entire game after starting on a 10–2 run with two three-pointers by the hand of D’Mitrik Trice. Xavier did fight their way back to within two points at the end of the first half, but the Badgers came out of the locker room on an 18–4 run to push the lead up to a comfortable 16.
Xavier once again reared their head as time wound down to get within six, but the Badgers iced the game with free throws. Despite closing out the game with five free throw attempts, the Badgers made it closer than it had to be, shooting very poorly from the line.
The Badgers were 6–13 on free throws and got no help in that area from Happ, who was 0–4.
Poor free throw shooting did not affect the 6-foot-10 center’s boxscore, however, as Happ followed up his triple-double performance against Coppin State with a double-double tonight.
Happ had 30 points while shooting 65.2 percent from the field with 13 rebounds and five assists.
The Wisconsin box score was dominated by their big three — Brad Davison, Trice and Happ — who combined for 71 points. Only five players on the night recorded a bucket.
Davison put up 19 points and drained four three-pointers.
Kobe King’s two points came on the last two free throws of the game and Khalil Iverson added four points for the Badgers.
Trice picked up right where he left off last week, staying red-hot from three. He finished with 22 points while shooting 5–5 from beyond the arc. He is now shooting 71.4 percent on three-point field goals for the season.
Naji Marshall led the way for the Musketeers with 24 points on 10–15 shooting and 13 boards, but that effort wouldn’t amount to be enough. Xavier was spotty on their three-point attempts while getting outworked on the glass. The Musketeers threw up 24 three-pointers (only converting on 20.8 percent) and the Badgers were plus-eight in the rebound deficit.
Wisconsin improves to 2-0 on the year and will come back to Madison for their next game against Houston Baptist Saturday night at 7 p.m.