Wisconsin impressive in Big Ten opener ; dominates Rutgers
Madison, WI ~ As the Rutgers Scarlet Knights arrived at the Kohl Center late Tuesday afternoon they were envisioning an upset over No. 14 Wisconsin. But when Zak Showalter’s scrappy play led to 18 point and Nigel Hayes added 20 more those dreams were anything but what they envisioned.
The Badgers tenacious defense held Rutgers to 31 percent shooting from the field.
Hayes led Wisconsin with 20 points and went 10-10 from the the free-throw line. Showalter followed with 18 points, a career high. Ethan Happ added 10 points and 11 assists and completed his sixth double-double of the season.
Mike William’s 18 points led Rutgers and was 4-5 from behind the arc while Nigel Johnson followed with 11 points. Those two were the only Scarlet Knights to get into double-digits scoring-wise.
The Badgers set the tone early with an 8-0 lead to start the game after Rutgers missed 13 of their first 14 shots. Showalter was the leading factor and had two early steals that led to four points and also added a three-pointer before the end of the half. Wisconsin led 33-18 at the break.
Rutgers snapped Wisconsin’s lead down to 9 but that was as close as it got as Wisconsin went on a 14-2 run to stick a dagger in it.