While the No. 4 ranked Wisconsin men’s basketball team (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) started slow, the Badgers found their groove late in the first half leading to a commanding 82–40 win against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix (0-2, 0-0 Horizon League).
The Badgers waltzed out of the gates with no sense of urgency, shooting an abysmal 1/6 to start the game and committed four turnovers in the first nine minutes. Lacking energy, the Badgers needed a spark.
That spark or even lightning bolt of energy came from sophomore Tyler Wahl. The lengthy six-foot-nine inch sophomore from Lakeville, Minn, enjoyed the best game of his young career in a Badger uniform. Wahl’s effort was on display in the first half as he tallied six points, nine rebounds and two assists.
Wahl’s play ignited the Badger team and ultimately Wisconsin opened up a 22-point lead at the half behind a stout defense and a significant rebounding advantage. Wisconsin held Green Bay to a feeble 4-26 shooting and the Phoenix were also outrebounded 27-12 in the first half.
The Badgers found their groove offensively in the second half. Senior Nathan Reuvers opened the scoring with a layup on a beautiful pass from guard D’Mitrik Trice. Reuvers was dangerous from all areas of the floor, scoring 13 points on only nine shots including nine points from deep.
It was another impressive showing from Reuvers’ partner-in-crime in the front court, Micah Potter. Potter was able to take advantage against an undersized Green Bay team, bullying his way to 12 points in the paint. Potter finished with 14 points and added eight rebounds. When both players are clicking, the combination of Potter and Reuvers could be troublesome for the rest of the Big Ten.
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While both Potter and Reuvers impressed, it was Wahl who stole the show. Wahl recorded his first double-double, scoring 11 points, and racked up an impressive 15 rebounds. What can’t go unnoticed was Wahl’s impressive motor on the defensive end. Wahl gave the Phoenix fits offensively and recorded two steals and two blocks to round out his impressive day.
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Though the Badgers have to be satisfied with their unblemished 3-0 start, they can’t afford to get overconfident as Friday will mark their first true road test when Wisconsin travels to Milwaukee Friday to take on Marquette.