MADISON -- A day after the Wisconsin football team put on a dominant performance against Nebraska, the basketball team responded with its own blowout of Chattanooga.
A game where the Badgers saw four of their five starters reach double-digits in scoring in the first half ended with a huge 89-45 victory at the Kohl Center. Forward Sam Dekker led the way with 18 points, followed by Traevon Jackson with 16.
"[Chattanooga] can create a lot of chaos. That’s what they advertise," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "I thought our guys stayed really solid. We had three turnovers in the last couple minutes we shouldn’t of had, but other than that for about 36, 37 minutes, I thought we did a real good job."
"Wisconsin’s a great team. I really like their team," Chattanooga head coach coach Will Wade said. "They did a phenomenal job."
Nigel Hayes led the Badgers to a furious start, scoring 10 points in the first six minutes of the game. The forward tacked on 10 rebounds in the first half to record his first double-double of the season. Frank Kaminsky had a rather quiet but successful day, scoring 10 points in the first half and finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
"I was really impressed with Hayes," Wade said. "You can tell from watching a lot of film on him, he’s slimmed down, he’s lost a lot of weight, he’s toned his body up. He’s a phenomenal player. I love him. Blue-collar, tough kid.
"I know Dekker and Kaminsky get a lot of the press, but Hayes, man, that’s a ball player."
The Badgers shot 58 percent from the field in the first half and 54 percent from beyond the arc, a much better start than their game Friday against Northern Kentucky where they shot a total 49 percent from the field and a mere 24 percent from three-point land.
Vitto Brown was again a nice surprise as he continues to prove that he deserves the time he is receiving on the court. The sophomore showed great aggressiveness on the boards, collecting nine rebounds while scoring six points.
"It’s real simple in the way we play," Ryan said. "Play defense and rebound and take your scoring opportunities when they come. [Brown's] done that in these first two games."
"I just want to come in and have a positive impact on the team," Brown added. "I think getting offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds allows our team to have more opportunities to score."
Wisconsin's defense was once again impressive. The Badgers held Chattanooga to just 29 percent shooting in the first half and 32 percent overall for the game.
"By us all having great feet and being able to guard the 1-5," Hayes said, "we can all switch onto a point guard."
"I thought tonight, we did a pretty good job of eliminating their chances in the paint," Dekker added. "The score showed that."
Dukan to return
The Badgers will get redshirt senior Duje Dukan back after serving his NCAA suspension. Both coach Ryan and the Sam Dekker talked about the impact they expect him to make.
"Duje comes back, so that gives us another person with some experience," Ryan said. "He’ll be a welcomed addition back.
The Badgers next play against UW-Green Bay on Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT.
"I just see [Dukan] as another weapon," Dekker said. "Duje can hoop, so we’re excited to get him back. He causes a lot of problems for a lot of people and we’re ready for a big year from him."