MADISON, Wis. (AP)—Wisconsin-Green Bay put a scare into Wisconsin last season. The Badgers were ready from the start this time.
Alando Tucker scored 18 points and No. 9 Wisconsin jumped in front early in a 79-62 victory over the Phoenix on Wednesday night.
The Badgers (2-0) opened the game with a 22-4 run and improved to 13-0 all-time against their in-state rival.
The game was much different than last year’s matchup, when the Phoenix held a second-half lead before losing by 20.
“Looking at last year’s game, Green Bay gave us a challenge,” Tucker said. “We wanted to definitely prove that we are the better team.”
Wisconsin-Green Bay couldn’t get within single digits after the Badgers’ opening surge, but pulled within 11 points early in the second half before missing its next six shots from the floor.
Wisconsin took advantage, as three different Badgers hit 3-pointers during an 11-2 run that stretched the lead to 20.
Ryan Evanochko scored 19 points to lead Green Bay. Mike Schachtner added 14 points for the Phoenix but fouled out with 8 minutes remaining.
Green Bay was called for 28 fouls to 19 on Wisconsin, and the game also was interrupted once in the first half because of a shot clock malfunction.
“Absolutely zero flow to that game,” Phoenix coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “We’re a team that needs to play in transition. Wisconsin’s just the opposite. They like the halfcourt game. With the stoppage of play, with the fouls and the free throws, we never got a chance to get into a flow.”
The game could have been an even bigger blowout, but Wisconsin continued to struggle with free throws, shooting 56 percent (19 of 34) from the line.
The free-throw struggles helped the Phoenix build a 40-33 rebounding edge over the Badgers, who have three players at 6-foot-10 or taller in their rotation.
“How many rebounds did they get on us missing the second free throw? Does that count as a rebound?” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. “I would say if you take those away, I thought we did a decent job on the glass.”
Michael Flowers and Kammron Taylor added 12 points apiece for Wisconsin.
Flowers hit two 3-pointers in the first 2 minutes and had another wiped out by an offensive foul, as the Badgers connected on four of their first five from long range.