CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – It was a historical night in an ugly game for the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team Wednesday.
Bo Ryan earned win No. 300 over former Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett’s son, Tony, and the No. 8 Badgers improved to 9-0 – its best start in 20 years.
Wisconsin won with its defense in a poor-shooting game, defeating Virginia 48-38.
The game featured just one in double figures.
That one player, Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser (11 points). He shot twice. Both from beyond the arc. They both went in. He was also 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.
The Badgers depended mainly on its starters, going eight deep against the Cavaliers (7-2), who were on the verge of cracking the Top 25.
That eighth player for Wisconsin was La Crosse native Bronson Koenig. The freshman played 14 minutes, going 0-for-2 from the field with a rebound and an assist.
After playing nearly 20 minutes in four consecutive games, Koenig, now averaging 3.4 points, has seen just 14, 10 and 9 minutes the last three.
This was the third game of the eight the Aquinas graduate has played in which he hasn’t scored – though one of those was the first game of the season and his career, where he played just 1 minute.
Wisconsin shot just 29 percent from the field (15-52) and 22 from beyond the arc (5-23), but held Virginia to 23 percent on FGs (11-47) and 9 percent from 3-point range (1-11).
UW-L men improve to 5-1
Calahan Skogman scored 15 points, while Cale Zuiker and Trent Schmidt added 12 and 11, respectively in leading UW-L in its WIAC opener.
The Eagles easily defeated Rivers Falls 80-52 at Mitchell Hall. This was their fourth consecutive win over the Cardinals.
UW-L didn’t waste any time putting this away right from the opening tip going on a 16-0 run to take a 17-3 lead. The Cardinals (3-4, 0-1) cut it to nine, but a 10-1 run took care of that and, for good measure, the Eagles opened the second half with a 10-0 run.
UW-RF was held to just 38 percent shooting (17-45) and went an abysmal 48 percent from the free-throw line (11-23). The Eagles shot a season-high 58 percent (28-48), including 9-for-20 from beyond the arc.
Lewis’ 25 not enough for Viterbo
Cole Lewis scored 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting, but Viterbo fell to Trinity Christian 70-65.
The V-Hawks (5-4) went on a 7-0 run to take a 63-61 lead with 1:57 remaining, but that was their last lead of the game.
Trinity’s Evan Pratt nailed a 3-pointer to end the run and retake the lead. That led to a 7-0 run and that was enough.
Alex Diciaula was 3-for-8 from deep in scoring 11, while Matt Turba had 10 points, nine assists for Viterbo, which shot just 38 percent from the field.
The V-Hawks forced 16 turnovers to just seven of their own, but and had 19 assists on their 25 field goals, but the difference was simply shooting.
Trinity (3-8) shot 50 percent from the field (25-50) and 43 from beyond the arc (9-21).
UW-L can’t hold second-half lead
UW-La Crosse watched a second-half lead slip, giving UW-River Falls its first win of the season, 59-56 in the WIAC opener.
The Eagles had an eight-point lead with 12:30 remaining, before the Cardinals began chipping away.
A 14-4 run gave the Cardinals (1-5, 1-0) a one-point lead with 6:53 remaining. The two teams went back and forth after that with five lead changes and five ties.
A layup by Katie Ehlen pulled La Crosse within a point, but UW-RF’s Katie Messman answered with a 3-pointer with 58 seconds remaining.
The Eagles had opportunities after that, a couple of those given to them by River Falls.
First, UW-L missed a 3 and had to foul. UW-RF missed both free throws. They repeated that sequence once more – missed 3, missed free throws – before the Eagles Erin Levenhagen got to the line.
She made 1 of 2 free throws with 9 second left.
River Falls ended up turning the ball over with 1 second left on a Mallory Cramer steal, but Jenna Anderson missed the desperation jumper.
Rachel Atchison scored 12 points and Anderson had 11 for UW-, which shot 32 perent from the field. River Falls was 37 percent from the field and had 18 turnovers to the Eagles’ 11. The Cardinals also shot just 13-for-21 from the line to UW-L’s 12 of 17.