Michael Ivins-US PRESSWIRE
The Badgers opened the season with a strong first half against the Southeast Louisiana Lions, headlined by Mike Bruesewitz and Ben Brust.
MADISON -- The Badgers struck quick in their opener Sunday against Southeast Louisiana, jumping out to a 19-0 lead before the Lions got on the board with a Sam Nelson three-pointer on their 12th possession of the game.
Stingy defense and efficient offense once again look to be the keys for the Badgers. Freshmen George Marshall and Sam Dekker each opened their career by sinking their first shots, three-pointers for both. Ben Brust led the Badgers with 10 points on just five shot attempts, and Mike Bruesewitz looked strong off the bench, scoring eight points and adding a couple rebounds and a block.
The usual suspects in the front court, Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren, did their part, providing 11 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks combined. Their defense locked down the Lions offense, as Southeast Louisiana shot just 7-for-28, with star Brandon Fortenberry making just one of his five shots.
The Badgers and Lions each used 30 possessions on offense, with the game slowed down to the crawling style the Badgers have used for years under Bo Ryan. The Badgers 1.43 points per possession would trail only the opening game blowout of Kennesaw State from last season; the 0.56 points per possession allowed would be the third-best mark from last season should it hold.
The Badgers used just eight players in the first half, perhaps indicating the go-to rotation players for the season. Traevon Jackson, Mike Bruesewitz and Sam Dekker each played at least ten minutes off the bench for Bo Ryan, with no other players appearing in the first half.