Badgers International trip ends with a win

The Wisconsin Badgers basketball team  ended their five game trip Down Under yesterday with a 83-71 win against the Sydney Kings.

The Badgers were led by in-coming freshman Brad Davidson, who scored 23 points went 2-4 from behind the arc, and was a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line. Preseason All-American Ethan Happ added 15 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals.

The Badgers trailed 55-50 in the third quarter before Davidson would help start two separate Wisconsin runs. He scored eight straight points for the Badgers by connecting on two straight three pointers and a layup.

He also was able to get his teammates involved throughout the second half. The Badgers grabbed a 59-57 lead late in the third quarter and never looked back.

The Badgers shot the ball 8-20 from three, good enough for 40% shooting from behind the arc. The team also shot well from the free throw line going 15-18. Wisconsin had an edge on the glass, out-rebounding the Kings 36-24, including 10 more offensive rebounds.

The Badgers concluded their trip Down Under going 4-1 and finding a lot out about their team. The Badgers started all five games with a different lineup, and had a different leading scorer every game. Ethan Happ never led the Badgers in scoring, which speaks volumes about the depth of the team.

The three Badgers freshman also proved that they can play at a high level. Brad Davidson, Nate Reuvers, and Kobe King all played well during the five exhibition games. Not only does Wisconsin have talented in-coming freshman, but they also have an abundance of depth.

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Wisconsin falls to Melbourne United on late 3-pointer

MELBOURNE, Australia — The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team faced its first test of adversity on the international trip, falling 90-89 to Melbourne United Saturday night on a late 3-point shot.

The Badgers were 3-0 on their foreign exhibition tour, seemingly on their way to a fourth win after grabbing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. But Melbourne’s Jerry Evans sank a 3-pointer from the corner with 2.4 seconds left to leave Wisconsin in shock.

“We were in situations throughout the game that we haven’t been in,” Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard told UWBadgers.com. “End of game and quarter situations, foul trouble we had to deal with. We did a lot of learning, which is exactly why you come on trips like this, to put yourself in some adverse situations and see how guys react on the fly.”

Wisconsin rallied from a 14-point second quarter deficit by scoring on 11 of its first 12 possessions to start the second half. That included scoring 32 points on 17 possessions in the third quarter.

It’s been a youth movement for the Badgers, who were led in the loss by 19 points from D’Mitrik Trice, 18 points from Kobe King, followed by Ethan Happ with 14.

“You have to learn from wins and losses,” Happ said after the loss. “The biggest thing is, we need to slow down when they’re making their run. We need to slow down on both ends where we need to hone in and get a stop or we need to hone in and get a bucket at the rim. We need to play inside-out down the stretch and make more plays.”

The Badgers failed to make it a two-possession game down the stretch. Their final two possessions included a shot clock violation and a partially blocked shot from Brevin Pritzl, for what would have been the winning basket.

The five-game tour concludes Tuesday against the Sydney Kings at 2:30 a.m. CT.

Wisconsin moves to 2-0 on foreign trip

The Wisconsin basketball team improved to 2-0 on its foreign trip early Thursday morning with an 87-53 whipping of the Sky City Breakers.

For a second straight game, the revamped Badgers were hot from the outside, hitting 15 of 27 from beyond the arc. They were led by junior Andy Van Vliet, who finished with a team-high 14 points, while sophomore D’Mitrik Trice added 12 and freshmen Kobe King and Nathan Reuvers each put in nine.

Coach Greg Gard overhauled nearly his entire starting lineup for the second game of the five-game tour, going with freshman Brad Davison and sophomore Brevin Pritzl at guard, while redshirt freshman Aleem Ford joined Van Vliet and Charlie Thomas in the front court.

Wisconsin will now head to Australia for the final three games of the trip.