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Wisconsin basketball: Tennessee recap

The Badgers go on the road and ::double checks notes:: blow out the Tennessee Volunteers? Sounds good to us!

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers have had their struggles on the road. Literally everyone knows this and it’s all anyone could talk about leading up to this game against the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville.

Well, I guess we’ll all need something new to talk about now because the Badgers stuffed the Vols into a locker and won on the road, 68-48 on Saturday afternoon. Wisconsin (7-5 overall, 1-1 B1G) was led, again, by point guard D’Mitrik Trice. One game after setting a career-high in points with 31, Trice poured in 21 against Tennessee (8-4 overall, 0-0 SEC) to lead all scorers.

The Badgers started off the game shooting well, which was a large change of pace from all of their other road/neutral site games, and had a lead of 21-9 before Tennessee forward Yves Pons went on a personal 5-0 run to cut the lead to 21-14. The Vols then made a free throw to cut the lead to six and never got any closer for the rest of the game.

Wisconsin finished the first half shooting 7-of-12 from deep and held a 36-24 lead after Tyler Wahl found a loose ball under the basket and beat the buzzer with a layup.

The second half started with a lot of excitement but it was all from the arena event staff who were forced into action due to a faulty net on the side of the court the Badgers were about to shoot at! It was high drama.

After the net was finally fixed the Badgers started the half on a 9-0 run to effectively put the game away. The Vols didn’t get on the board in the second half until 13:34 left and didn’t score their first field goal of the final stanza until 12:40 left. It was a clinic on how not to play offensive basketball.

The rest of the game was purely academic as the Badgers continued to score just enough to keep the Vols far away from even sniffing a comeback attempt. Wahl scored the final bucket of the second half as well to make sure that the Badgers won by 20 points. Tennessee didn’t have a single player score in double figures and only shot 34.8% (16-of-46) from the floor and 52.6% (10-of-19) from the free throw line after having not missed a free throw in the previous two games.

It was an emphatic, and much needed, win for Wisconsin who will look to keep the momentum going on New Year’s Eve against Rider back at the Kohl Center.

Notable stat lines

D’Mitrik Trice —> 21 points (6-of-14 shooting, 4-of-8 from deep), three assists, three rebounds

Brevin Pritzl —> 17 points (6-of-10 shooting, 4-of-8 from deep), three steals, three rebounds

Nate Reuvers —> Nine points (4-of-6 shooting, 1-of-1 from deep), seven rebounds, two blocks

Olivier Nkamhoua (Tennessee) —> Five points (2-of-4 shooting), 10 rebounds, one assist

Fun facts (courtesy the UW Athletic Department)

  • The 20-point win marked the Badgers’ largest non-conference road win since topping Xavier by 9 in 2018 (77-68, 11/13/18).
  • This seems good. Wisconsin must own the SEC, huh?
  • Wisconsin handed Tennessee its largest home loss since 2016, when the Volunteers lost by 23 points to Ole Miss on March 5, 2016.