In the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament on Wednesday, the No. 25 Wisconsin Badgers overcame early turnovers and some poor second-half shooting to defeat the Stanford Cardinal in a 62–46 win at the Imperial Ballroom in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Despite fouling out, redshirt senior forward Ethan Happ tied for a game-high 16 points and 12 rebounds. Guards D’Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison recorded 16 and 14 points, respectively, while sophomore forward Nate Reuvers tallied eight points, five rebounds, and nine (!) blocks for the Badgers.
Those nine blocks by Reuvers tied a school record and were critical in halting a Stanford attack led by KZ Okpala. Okpala, Stanford’s sophomore forward and main scoring threat, scored a team-high 11 points (2-of-11 shooting) and pulled down eight rebounds. He came into the game averaging 22.7 points per contest.
Nate Reuvers ties a school record with nine blocks in today’s game— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) November 21, 2018
Looks like he got a hold of our Twitter account postgame, too
Sorry, Stanford... pic.twitter.com/NPb0eJv7Qq
Wisconsin (4–0) only shot 42.6 percent from the field (23 of 54), including less than 35 percent (nine of 26) in the final 20 minutes. Greg Gard’s squad only connected on one of eight three-pointers on the afternoon, with Kobe King’s attempt with 31 seconds remaining in the game being the only successful field goal from deep.
For that matter, Stanford (2–2) shot worse—making only 16 of 59 attempts overall (27.1 percent) and just two of 11 from beyond the arc.
UW committed 11 turnovers in the game, including eight in the first half, but calmed down over the final 20 minutes. Uncharacteristically, it only dished out two assists.
On the plus side, the Badgers out-rebounded the Cardinal 43–39 while also dominating inside, scoring 40 of their 62 points in the paint.
Wisconsin only led by four at halftime in a 28–24 game but extended its lead to 10 points at 42–32 with 10:41 remaining. Stanford fought back on a 10–2 run in a 3:29 span and actually had a chance to tie the game.
With 6:17 remaining, Happ fouled Bryce Wills, who then went to the free-throw line. He missed both attempts, and UW responded with a 9–0 run of its own to pull away with an 11–point lead.
Davison scored five of those 11 straight points, and Stanford would not pull within closer than nine points thereafter.
Wisconsin will face Oklahoma on Thanksgiving afternoon (12:30 p.m. CT, ESPN) in the next round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. The Sooners defeated Florida 65–60 earlier on Wednesday.