Hughes, Badgers tame defenseless Tigers

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoCenter Greg Stiemsma made a layup, then two foul shots. Guard Joe Krabbenhoft laid in a short shot, and MarcusLandry followed with four points of his own. Point guard Trevon Hughes hit a 3-pointer.Forward Brian Butch dropped in a layup. For good measure,Hughes followed with one of his own.All five Wisconsin starters scored a total of 17 points, andmore than six minutes of the first half elapsed before Savannah State managedto find a way to get the ball in the hoop.”That run put is great position to pretty much control thegame,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said.By the time the Tigers managed to score on a tough jumper byAnthony Jones with 13:58 remaining in the half, the game had already slippedtoo far out of hand for Savannah State and Wisconsin was well on its way to aneasy 79-32 victory in the America’s Youth Classic.”We definitely want to keep getting off to fast starts,”Stiemsma said. “If we can get up [17] to zero, we’ll take that any day.”The Badgers (2-0) used their vast size advantage — theTigers’ (2-2) tallest starter was 6-foot-8 — to build their lead almostentirely inside the lane on layups and short jumpers. In the quick spurt,Wisconsin shot a perfect 6-of-6 in the paint, with many of the field goals comingoff good ball movement.”Especially early I thought the passing from our bigs wasvery crisp,” Ryan said.The 6-foot-11 Stiemsma — a very good passer for his size — distributedthe ball especially well for the Badgers early and finished with four assistsfor the game. “He’s got the ability to be a good passer,” Ryan said ofStiemsma.Stiemsma showed that ability early during the run when hecaught a pass from Landry at the top of the key and immediately threw a quickpass to a cutting Krabbenhoft for an easy layup.”The more minutes he plays the more great passes and greatthings he’s going to do. For guys like me and Trevon, … we just love being outthere with him because he’s very unselfish,” Krabbenhoft said. “One of the things we’ve beentrying to work on is getting off to a fast start and picking up our intensity alittle bit,” Stiemsma said. “If I’m that guy that can get a couple thingsmoving…”The Tigers tried to counter the quick lead by picking up theBadgers in a full court press and had some success doing so — cutting the leadto 12 at 19-7 — but that was as close as they would come. Wisconsin’s defensestiffened and held Savannah State to just 14 first-half points.”Especially coming out last game with it being close 10minutes into the game, I thought it was important … just to jump on them onboth ends, but especially on the defensive end,” Krabbenhoft said.Wisconsin did that with smothering defense that led toSavannah State missing its first six shots of the game and four turnovers beforescoring.”We played well as a team defensively, we knew theirtendencies and tried to make them do things out of the norm that they wouldn’tdo,” Hughes said. “We forced a couple bad shots.”For the game, Savannah State made only 12 field goalattempts, shooting a meager 24.5 percent from the field. “How many jumpers that they hit were tough, where they hadto shoot through or over one of our defenders?” Ryan asked. “I would say the 12 field goals they had, five or six ofthem had to be with us chested up, high-hand pressure and then them justshooting over the top of us.”The 32 points allowed by the Badgers was the fewest pointsallowed by a Wisconsin team since Loyola-Chicago was held to 29 in the 1998season opener.Wisconsin must now regroup and turn its attention to FloridaA&M to prepare to play the Rattlers Friday on short rest.After playing Colorado on Saturday, the Badgers will haveplayed three games in three days, a rare occurrence for Division I collegebasketball.”I think it’s definitely a good opportunity to get out infront of the crowd, get the legs hot,” Stiemsma said. In the opening game of the America’s Youth Classic, Coloradotopped Florida A&M by a final score of 83-59. Colorado’s Xavier Silas leadall scorers with 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including making three of five3-pointers.last_img

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