Badgers roll in tournament opener
By Andrew Wagner
MILWAUKEE — Point guard Traevon Jackson scored 18 points as Wisconsin beat American, 75-35, Thursday in a second round NCAA Tournament game played at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Riding a 19-3 run into intermission, the second-seeded Badgers (27-7), playing just under an hour from their Madison home arena, shot 57.7 percent in the second half and made 7 of 14 from beyond the arc.
Wisconsin held American to 13 points in the second half.
Guard Ben Brust knocked down four of Wisconsin’s 10 3-pointers and finished with 17 points and forward Sam Dekker scored 11 with six rebounds. Frank Kaminsky had eight points and four rebounds.
“We did a great job of preparing,” Brust said. “We knew we had to settle in and guard where they were running. Good things happened when we got some stops and got out and ran; we just stayed with what we were doing, touching the post and it got us good looks inside and out.”
Center Tony Wroblicky and guard John Schoof each finished with 11 points, but were a combined 7 of 17 from the field for the Eagles (20-13), who shot 28.9 percent (11 of 38) as a team and only 3 of 19 in the second half.
“We were playing well,” Wroblicky said. “We were making them take tough shots and we were scoring. We just hit a rut and it extended ... for the rest of the game.”
American stunned the decidedly partisan crowd with a 9-0 run to take a 14-10 lead with 11:02 left in the first half. The Badgers missed seven in a row during that stretch but rallied back to tie the game at 20-20 on Ben Brust’s 3-pointer with four minutes left and went ahead when Brust completed a three-point play to make it 23-20 with 3:32 remaining.
Wisconsin led by 10 at halftime.
BADGER BITS: Wisconsin is appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 16th consecutive season and 20th overall. The Badgers have won seven of their last eight opening-round games and are 11-2 in the opening round under head coach Bo Ryan. ... American was in the tournament for the first time since 2009 and third time in program history. ... The Badgers played two previous NCAA Tournament games in Milwaukee, defeating 11th-seeded Richmond before falling to No. 6 Pittsburgh in 2004.