Wisconsin downs Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 64-49
MADISON, Wis. (AP) Ethan Happ and Bronson Koenig scored 15 points apiece as Wisconsin beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 64-49 on Tuesday.
Vitto Brown added 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Badgers.
Rashawn Thomas was limited by foul trouble, but scored 12 points for the Islanders, as did Hameed Ali.
Neither team got off to a hot start – Wisconsin (7-5) missed its first 10 shots and the Islanders (7-3) started 1 of 8.
But Wisconsin eventually found its shooting touch and put the game away with a second-half run.
Up 35-30, Happ grabbed a missed free throw and put it back before Wisconsin hit six straight free throws after starting 8 of 17 from the line. Nigel Hayes' 3-pointer with seven minutes to play finished the 18-6 run to put Wisconsin up 53-36.
Coming off back-to-back nonconference home losses, Wisconsin was able to shrug off its slow start to finish the game shooting 45 percent. But it was still a sloppy game for the Badgers -they turned the ball over 15 times and shot 18 of 31 from the foul line.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, though, was no better. The Islanders shot 33 percent from the field, hit 7 of 12 from the line and committed 24 fouls.
In addition to their poor shooting, the Islanders were hurt by Thomas' foul trouble. Thomas, who averages 16.2 points, was limited to 12 minutes in the first half as he was called for three fouls. He was then forced to the bench a little more than seven minutes into the second half with his fourth foul and did not return.
Wisconsin: The Badgers have dropped five non-conference games for just the second time since coach Bo Ryan arrived. Wisconsin went 7-6 in 2001-02, Ryan's first season on campus, but went on the win a share of the Big Ten title. Wisconsin has an eight-day layoff until hosting Green Bay on Dec. 23 and would have to win that game to avoid tying Ryan's worst non-conference mark. . Since arriving on campus, Wisconsin is 109-11 in non-conference games at the Kohl Center. Three of those losses have come this season.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: The last time the Islanders played Wisconsin was the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament, when they led by 18 in the first half before falling 76-63 to the No. 2 seed Badgers. . The Islanders have eight seniors on their roster, second most in the country. Wisconsin, meanwhile, has eight freshmen on the team, most in the nation.
Wisconsin hosts Green Bay on Dec. 23.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi hosts Cal Poly on Sunday.