Wisconsin came in to this weekends games at the Sears Centre in search of the Chicago Invitational Challenge Championship and that's exactly what the Badgers got after a 73-56 victory over BYU on Saturday night. Standing in front of them now is a daunting trip to Chapel Hill to take on the #1 ranked Tar Heels of North Carolina on Wednesday. The Badgers bombed the Cougars to death on the night, hitting thirteen 3 pointers as a team en route to a dominating 2nd half, resulting in the lopsided final score.
Wisconsin started the game off red hot, hitting 3's on five of their first six possesions, racing out to a 17-8 lead on Jared Berggren's second 3 pointer to start out the game. He had 8 of the Badgers 17 points in that run and would end up with 13 points for the night.
Don't let that 73-56 final score fool you though, the Badgers were tested in this game. After extending the lead to 22-12 Wisconsin would see BYU make a run of their own, tying the game up at 24 and taking a 28-26 lead on a Stephen Rogers jumper with 5:11 left in the 1st half. The score would remain close for the rest of the 1st half as Wisconsin would take a narrow 34-32 lead into the half.
Wisconsin came out firing again from downtown in the 2nd half, hitting on six 3's in the frame. For the game the Badgers were 13-24 from beyond the arc (54.2%) while shooting 50.9% from the field as a team. The Badgers were able to run away thanks to that 3 point shooting and an early 12 -2 run that put Wisconsin up 59-44 with 6:27 left in the game and the Badgers never looked back for the victory.
But all of that wouldn't be possible without the play of one Ben Brust. He scored a career high 21 points on the strength of 7-10 three point shooting, hitting five of those 3's in the second half. Also hitting double figures for the game were Jordan Taylor (18), and Mike Bruesewitz (13). Bruesewitz also added a team high 6 rebounds for another solid game.
Unfortunately for Taylor his 18 point effort was once again overshadowed, this time by the play of Brust, but he seems to be hitting his scoring stride just in time.
While Wisconsin gave up the most points to an opponent this season at 56, they held BYU 26 points below their season average of 82. Forward Brian Hartsock lead the Cougars in scoring with 18 points, but the rest of the team was held below double figures.
Wisconsin has to be happy about a 6-0 start to the season, the first time that's happened since an 11-0 start to the 1993-94 season and will find out exactly what this sharp shooting team is really all about against UNC on Wednesday.