Wisconsin used the hot shooting from sophomore guard Ben Brust, who scored a career-high 17 points, to beat the Colgate Raiders 68-41 tonight at the Kohl Center. With the victory, the Badgers improve to 2-0 on the season for the 10th consecutive season. With the loss, the Raiders drop to 1-1 on the season.
Brust was 6-11 from the field, including 4-8 from behind the 3-point line and had 13 points in the opening half, helping the Badgers to a 42-20 halftime lead. He was the only player in double figures for Wisconsin and was the high scorer in the game.
Wisconsin continued its hot 3-point shooting as well. After a 15-25 performance from 3-point territory, Wisconsin went 10-23 from downtown tonight. In addition to the four 3-pointers made by Brust, All-American point guard Jordan Taylor made three and forward/center Jared Berggren, guard Josh Gasser and guard Traevon Jackson each made one.
“It’s just been good for me to get out there and play," Brust said. "I learned a lot from the scout team and the limited minutes I had last year. I kind of used that feeling I didn’t like last year of not playing much to drive me for now."
The Badgers shot 51.6 percent in the first half before cooling down considerably in the second half and shooting 44.3 percent for the game. Colgate shot 34.8 percent overall and just 3-11 from behind the arc.
“I thought defensively we were doing some good things," Head Coach Bo Ryan said. "But sometimes shots don’t go down. Basketball can be that way sometimes. But as long as on the other end we were getting some deflections and things going, we were doing OK."
Coming out of the half, Wisconsin struggled and scored just two points in the first eight minutesIn addition to Brust's 17, Taylor and Berggren each scored nine and junior forward Mike Bruesewitz added eight for the Badgers. Berggren and Taylor each had seven rebounds to lead the Badgers and junior forward Ryan Evans added five as well.
“I think it showed that we have some different pieces than we did last year, especially with Ben (Brust) shooting the ball from outside," Taylor said. "Defensively, it’s a work in progress. We’re trying to improve on things and stay locked in on defense, and that’s something that comes with experience. The more games we get in, the better we’ll be."
John Brandenburg led the Raiders with 11 points on 5-5 shooting. After a dominating performance against Binghamton, guard Mike Venezia was held to six points on 2-9 shooting and their leading scorer from last season, Yaw Gyawu, scored just four points on 2-7 shooting.
Next up for the Badgers are the Wofford Terriers on Saturday. The Terriers are 1-1 on the young season. Saturday’s game is the first of three for the Badgers in the Chicago Invitational Tournament and it will be the first meeting since the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.